One of the last things you’d probably want to do on a smartwatch is read a text-heavy piece of content, whether it be a long email, a book, or a website. All those use cases, however, may happen a few times in a smartwatch user’s lifetime, and it’s probably reassuring to know that they can do so if they really need to. Of course, you’ll need to have the right app for that, and Samsung just rolled out the smartwatch version of its rather popular Internet browser for its latest Galaxy Watch 4 series.
Samsung Internet for smartwatches have actually been around for quite a while now, so this might not exactly be news to owners of Samsung’s Gear and Galaxy smartwatches. Although it’s terribly inconvenient to actually view a web page on such a small screen, Samsung Internet at least offers the ability to do so in case an email or message requires a quick check on some website.
What’s new in this release, however, is support for Wear OS, which is what the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic are running on. Previous versions of the app existed only in Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatch world, so this version marks the company’s latest attempt to migrate its apps to its flavor of Wear OS. Some of those included a Walkie Talkie app that’s actually a first for Wear OS, at least as far as first-party OEM apps go.
Despite offering the convenience of having a web browser on your wrist, Samsung’s Internet smartwatch app ironically loads only the desktop version of web pages rather than a more mobile-friendly layout. It relies on swiping gestures to navigate around the web page, but you can at least pinch to zoom in and out of certain areas. The app does offer voice search and bookmarks to save you from having to type things out.
While Samsung Internet has indeed landed on Wear OS, users of other smartwatch brands shouldn’t get their hopes up. For better or worse, the Wear OS market might be looking at a new phase in the wearable platform’s history where there will be more brand-exclusive apps for smartwatches. In that race, Samsung might have the lead since it has the resources and the experience in developing wearables apps far longer than the likes of Fossil or Mobvoi.