Owners of the original Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch bought a device that runs Google Android — but it probably won’t do so for long. After bringing newer wearables to market running its Tizen platform, Samsung is planning to scrap Android and replace it with Tizen on the Galaxy Gear.
SamMobile has an early Tizen software build installed on the original Galaxy Gear and shows off what it looks like so far. If you’ve seen the new Samsung Gear 2 — a successor to the Galaxy Gear — or the Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, you’ll know what to expect. If not, this video shows Tizen powering the Galaxy Gear:
The move is a good one by Samsung, both for it and for the folks who bought a Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Samsung has spent quite a bit of effort over the past two years on its Tizen software, which has roots in Intel’s Moblin software. By creating Tizen, Samsung can break away from Google’s control over Android, which Samsung typically uses in its devices.
And since there aren’t many Android-powered watches being purchased by consumers — something that’s likely to change when Android Wear devices debut next month — there aren’t many Android apps for smartwatches. Switching the original Galaxy Gear to Tizen, however, adds another device for developers to write Tizen apps. That could help Samsung build the app ecosystem faster, assuming it is selling Gear products in high enough quantities to attract developers in the first place.