It’s been several years since Samsung released a smartwatch running Android. You have to go all the way back to 2014 when the original Gear Live launched to find a Samsung wearable equipped with Google’s Android Wear (now known as Wear OS). Since then, the company has used its in-house Tizen platform, but a new report claims that could change.
Twitter user UniverseIce said on Friday that an upcoming watch from Samsung will use Android, not Tizen. We assume that means the wearable will run Wear OS, but it’s also possible the device will feature Samsung’s own UI based on Android. The Tweet doesn’t divulge too much information, so we’re now left to speculate about Samsung’s plans.
Samsung’s new watch will use Android to replace Tizen.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) February 19, 2021
If the report is true, it would be a huge boost for Wear OS, which has floundered in recent years (to put it mildly). Seeing support from Samsung could help reinvigorate the platform and finally give Android users a worthy alternative to the Apple Watch. Right now, there are only a small handful of smaller companies showing consistent support of Wear OS. Not even Google has released a smartphone running the platform.
The question is: Why would Samsung jump to Android when Tizen has evolved into such a good wearable platform? By all accounts, the Tizen experience is superior to Wear OS, so this almost seems like a downgrade. We’re not entirely what’s behind the alleged move, but we’re hoping to get answers soon.
In a separate report from GalaxyClub, Samsung is said to be working on two new wearable devices (SM-R86x and SM-R87X). It’s speculated that the devices will fall in the Galaxy Watch Active product line, with a release expected sometime this summer. Information beyond that is still a mystery, but they could launch with Wear OS.
Google’s Wear OS platform possibly making a comeback wasn’t the headline we expected in 2021. But if this report is true, maybe we’ll finally see the software blossom into something that can actually go toe-to-toe with Apple’s watchOS.