Samsung could be about to ditch its Tizen OS in favour of Wear OS for its next generation of smartwatches.
That’s if new rumors are to be believed – which have come from a somewhat reliable Samsung Twitter tipster called Ice Universe. Of course, we have to be skeptical.
The tweet simply states that “Samsung's new watch will use Android to replace Tizen.”
Samsung's new watch will use Android to replace Tizen.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) February 19, 2021
The choice of words is interesting, as it doesn’t specify whether that means a re-skinned full-fat Android OS or Google’s Wear OS, which is a smartwatch-specific operating system.
Samsung originally used Wear OS for the Gear S and Gear Live, before developing Tizen.
However, while that decision has arguably been justified as it’s left Wear OS rivals in its dust – Tizen is far from perfect.
It still limits battery life to just a single day and does not enjoy the same breadth of third party apps that Wear OS does.
What’s more, in the intervening five years, Google has softened its stance on letting manufacturers build on the stock Wear OS experience. The Oppo Watch, which was released in 2020, mixed Wear OS and its own Color OS. And even Fossil has released its own fitness and wellness apps to fill in holes in Wear OS’s functionality.
So it may suit Samsung to move back to Google, and use its influence to bend Wear OS to its will.
It also remains to be seen which device this will refer to. After the company released the Galaxy Watch 3 in October 2020 we have been expecting a new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3. However, should the company revert OS in a major way, perhaps we could see a new line of Samsung Galaxy smartwatches altogether.
Changing OS could also be difficult for its range of health sensors including ECG and blood pressure, and it's not clear whether this would mean new approval.
And, of course, this could all be nonsense. We need to take any information of this nature with a huge pinch of salt. It will be fascinating to find out, and as ever, watch this space for more information as we get it.