It looks like a Samsung smartwatch packing Google's Wear OS really could happen. That's if revealing code pointing to a return to Google's OS proves to be true.
The folks at Android Police have been digging around in the latest update of Samsung's Galaxy Wearable companion app, and have found new codenames that refer to a change of operating system. Further digging, outlined in a tweet, revealed not only supposed codenames for new watches but a reference to a 'newos' as well.
The code also suggests that there will be large and small sized versions of these new watches with 40/41mm options for a new Galaxy Watch Active and 44/45mm Galaxy Watch.
So when I found the Buds 2 leak, I found a few things about upcoming Galaxy Watches.
There's a new plugin codename "water." I believe "water" is the Samsung wearable/WearOS compatibility layer. It mentions "merlot," which I believe is the chipset for "wise" and "fresh"...
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) March 29, 2021
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is available in 40 and 44mm size options while the Galaxy Watch 3 comes in 41 and 45mm options, so that would indicate Samsung sticking to similar sizes again.
There's also the suggestion there will be Bluetooth and cellular options, which Samsung has also offered on its current watch range.
This latest hint towards Samsung going back to Wear OS follows a tweet made by a usually reliable Samsung tipster back in February that claimed Samsung would make the switch. Then source code found for one of Samsung's phones revealed mentions of 'Merlot Wear OS'. That same Merlot reference was found in the Galaxy Wearable app code too.
While this is far from absolute confirmation it's happening, the evidence is starting to mount up. Samsung last dabbled in Wear OS back when it was known as Android Wear, and its Gear Live smartwatch was one of the launch devices for Google's foray into wearables.
It does still feel like an odd move for Samsung to make, especially when its own Tizen OS offers a better all-round experience, and it's just launched two of its best smartwatches running on in its in-house platform.
Whether it chooses to ditch Tizen entirely for Wear OS or offer it as an alternative is something we can still only speculate about. With Google having finally completed its acquisition of Fitbit, Samsung may well be privy to some radical changes to the platform that may have prompted a jump back to Google.
As we say, it's all speculation at the moment, but it will certainly be an interesting move by Samsung to turn the clock back for a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3 or Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 if it thinks it will help edge closer to the Apple Watch's dominance.