Samsung has provided a first look of One UI Watch today. It’s the custom interface that will be slapped on top of the new unified Wear platform that it has built for smartwatches with Google. Yes, the platform is Android-based. Tizen will no longer power Samsung’s smartwatches.
Ever since this collaboration with Google was announced, existing Galaxy Watch owners have been wondering whether they’ll get an update to this platform. Samsung has been tight-lipped on the matter but it has basically just confirmed what you were fearing.
No Android for you, Galaxy Watch 3
Samsung confirmed during its MWC 2021 virtual event today that it will provide “up to 3 years of software updates” to Tizen-based smartwatches. This includes everything from your Galaxy Watch Active to the Galaxy Watch 3.
This just confirms that the company has no plans to upgrade existing watches to the new Wear platform, even if the hardware supports it. Galaxy Watch 3 owners will be particularly bothered by this. Their smartwatch is basically outdated less than a year since it was released.
We’ve discussed before that at least the Galaxy Watch 3 should be upgraded to the new platform. However, it seems that this is something Google might be against. The company is also reportedly not allowing existing Wear OS smartwatches to be upgraded.
Samsung’s Tizen smartwatches are equipped with many great features. The company could add some additional features to these devices down the line. However, they will miss out on the great improvements that the new unified program brings, including support for Android apps.
This is certainly not an ideal situation but it is what it is. Those who want to take advantage of this new platform will have to buy a new Galaxy smartwatch. Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Watch 4 at its next Unpacked event, so it won’t be long before one is available.