Google and Samsung announced that they are essentially combining Wear OS — Google’s operating system — and the Tizen-based software platform that has been central to Samsung’s wearables for many years.
The new platform will be called ‘Wear’ for now and Tizen will be discontinued, reports MobiFlip.
“This isn’t just for Google and Samsung. All device makers will be able to add a customized user experience on top of the platform, and developers will be able to use the Android tools they already know and love to build for one platform and ecosystem. And because of these benefits, you will have more options than ever before, whether it’s choosing which device to buy or picking which apps and watch faces to display,” Bjorn Kilburn Director of Product Management, Wear, wrote in a blog post.
This is what we know so far:
- From now on, all new Galaxy Watches will be equipped with Wear and it seems like a new chip (maybe from Google and Samsung?) Is being planned.
- Older models are not supplied with Wear, but Samsung would like to guarantee three more years of updates.
- There will be some Tizen Samsung apps for Wear, but not all. S Health, for example, is being discontinued and Samsung is getting the new Fitbit apps from Google. The data can be transferred.
- Google itself is revising most of the apps, for example there is navigation for Google Maps without a smartphone. All these apps will of course also be available for Samsung models. Also, it sounds a bit like we won’t get Samsung Pay and Google Pay is the standard.
- Samsung has helped Google to optimize the performance of Wear and it is also referred to as longer battery life. The performance is probably around 30 percent increase, there is no information about the battery life.
- Fitbit is also making a Wear OS app. As Fitbit is already a part of Google, Samsung’s watches may end up getting all those Fitbit features too.
- The focus is also on more independent smartwatches, so we’ll see many new models with 4G.
“We are also making it easier for our developer community to build great apps (including new Tiles!) for the platform, and reach millions of consumers all over the world through the Google Play Store,” Kilburn wrote.