The Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 will run on Samsung’s homegrown Tizen OS instead of Google’s Android, according to USA Today. The report also said that Samsung is planning to introduce the watch, as well as the new Tizen operating system, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.
This would be a pretty radical shift for Samsung, which already brought some well-known third-party app developers to the table for the original Galaxy Gear including Evernote and Snapchat. A switch to Tizen would mean that the company has to start all over again, and raises some questions about compatibility. Would a Tizen-based smartwatch only work with Tizen phones, for example? That could be a problem, since there aren’t any available right now.
On the other hand, this could mean that the new Galaxy Gear will function as a standalone device, like the Pebble smartwatch; the watch might be able to perform its standard functions and run preloaded apps without a connection.
Or there could multiple versions of the new Galaxy Gear announced: The Verge is reporting that Samsung might introduce multiple Galaxy Gear wearables at the show, though it couldn’t confirm if any will be powered by Tizen.
Samsung is holding a press conference at MWC next week where it is expected to introduce the Galaxy S5. We’ll see if the Galaxy Gear 2 makes an appearance as well.