Samsung is only ditching Tizen for its smartwatches and not its TVs
Samsung’s Tizen operating system took a wild turn. At Google I/O 2021, Google announced that the next update of Wear OS was made in collaboration with Samsung. This collaboration signified that Samsung would have a central role in developing the next version of Wear OS, bringing several of their services and features over, while also announcing that their upcoming smartwatches would no longer run Tizen but rather Wear OS from this point onwards. This led many people to think that Samsung was abandoning Tizen and merging it outright into Wear OS. The truth of the matter, however, is that Tizen is not only running on smartwatches. The company officially confirmed that, at least as of this moment, they will still use Tizen in its TVs.
This is newsworthy because the Wear OS collaboration also led people to think that they could also collaborate with Google to have Samsung TVs running Android TV. However, when pressed for comment by Protocol, a Samsung spokesperson confirmed that “Tizen still is the default platform for our smart TVs going forward.” This means that the Samsung collaboration is, as of right now, being kept smartwatch-exclusive. Samsung still believes in Tizen, even though they have one less product in their lineup being powered by that system.
This wasn’t entirely unexpected. They’re not outright abandoning Tizen with the Google partnership, and they probably won’t do so for a long time. They also announced that their current smartwatches won’t be updated to Wear OS: the operating system will ship only with new smartwatches. Rather, for these older products, Samsung will still be providing Tizen updates for years to come. Tizen developers still have plenty of work to do.
Will we get Android TV on Samsung at some point in the future? The answer is, quite likely, no, at least for now. We’ll have to see how well Wear OS turns out on Samsung smartwatches, and whether they’ll be willing to partner with Google again at some point in the future.