Trademark applications filed by Samsung had suggested the possibility of the company moving to the Galaxy branding for its wearable devices, perhaps to unify its product lineups across the smartphone and wearable categories, but a new rumor is hinting that it may not be just a name change. According to leakster Ice universe, Samsung may be switching to Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) for the Gear S4, or whatever flagship smartwatch it launches later this year. The company is already adopting Android Go in the budget smartphone segment, so maybe a similar move is on the cards for its wearables as well?
Wear OS in, Tizen out?
Now, the rumor comes from a usually trustworthy source, and if it’s true, it would be a major step for the Korean giant. Samsung has pushed Tizen on everything from its wearable devices through TVs to refrigerators in a bid to create a connected ecosystem that works on any electronic product and appliance that has the Samsung logo on top. Switching to Android Wear would be great as far as compatibility with Android on smartphones and developer support is concerned, but we’d be lying if we said we wouldn’t be disappointed if Samsung’s fantastic smartwatch user interface is given the boot.
Even Bixby would have to go since Google doesn’t allow heavy customization to Wear OS by OEMs. It would also make existing apps that you own incompatible with the new watch, so it’s likely that this is just going to be a branding change. Or Samsung could be making a separate smartwatch that runs Wear OS, though Ice universe says the Gear S4 may not exist.
That’s not to say the rumor has to be true, and since Samsung does have a new smartwatch in the works, we’ll just need to wait for further clues that support the possibility of the company giving up Tizen on its smartwatches. In fact, given all the big updates its smartwatches and fitness trackers have received in recent months, it’s not looking very probable. Well, unless those updates were meant to be a parting gift to owners of those wearables before Samsung takes the drastic step of joining the Android Wear party again.
What do you think? Would you like to see Samsung making Watch OS smartwatches and wearables again, or do you think it should stick to Tizen? Perhaps the company should be using both OS’ on different products? Let us know in the comments!