Samsung just made its big wearable spiel earlier, exciting Wear OS users of what’s coming next. The next Galaxy Watch will be the first wearable to run Google’s new wearable platform, one that will look more like One UI rather than the Wear OS some have become familiar with. Unfortunately for Galaxy Watch fans, the news isn’t exactly all good, and while Samsung promises it won’t abandon owners of its Tizen-based smartwatches, it is practically leaving them behind anyway.
Wear OS hasn’t been in great shape for years, even after changing its name from Android Wear. The announcement of a collaboration between Google, Samsung, and even Fitbit sparked hope that the wearable platform could finally catch up with its biggest rivals. Based on Samsung’s presentation, its version of Wear OS just might.
The announcement at Google I/O left one important question unanswered, however. There’s still some uncertainty whether older Wear OS smartwatches will get the upgrade. Samsung doesn’t have any Wear OS devices so that question is moot, but it is also putting an end to speculation about its other smartwatches.
In its MWC 2021 stream, Samsung promised owners of its older Galaxy Watches that they would be receiving up to three years of software updates from the product’s availability. While intended to reassure Galaxy Watch owners that they’re not being abandoned immediately, it indirectly confirms something they dread. The latest Galaxy Watch 3 won’t be updated to Wear OS and will remain on Tizen, at least officially.
On the one hand, it isn’t entirely surprising, given these Tizen smartwatches run on a hardware platform not yet supported by Wear OS. On the other hand, it’s still disappointing since those are very capable smartwatches, hardware-wise. It doesn’t help that SamMobile reports rumors that Google is blocking attempts to put Wear OS not just on Samsung’s smartwatches but even existing Wear OS smartwatches as well.