Samsung’s current watches won’t get Wear OS, but will get years of Tizen updates

Samsung’s current watches won’t get Wear OS, but will get years of Tizen updates

Google revealed today that it is working on new updates for Wear OS, in partnership with Samsung. It was also announced that future Galaxy Watches would use Google’s Wear OS platform, instead of the Tizen-based software that Samsung has used for its wearables over the past few years. Samsung has now clarified what the transition means for the millions of Galaxy Watches it has already sold.

“With the new unified platform,” Samsung said in a press release published today, “we are unlocking a whole world of opportunities for the developer community. […] Our hope is that this platform will ignite innovation in spaces like the Galaxy Watch Studio and inspire third party development, bringing a bigger and better network of apps to benefit Galaxy users around the world.”

Samsung confirmed in the announcement that all existing Galaxy Watches will not be updated to Wear OS. However, the watches aren’t being completely abandoned — Samsung says it will provide “at least three years of software support” starting from when each watch was released. That means the Galaxy Watch 3 will still be supported until at least August 2023, and the Watch Active 2 has a year left (August 2022). The original Galaxy Watch will turn three years old this August, so the recent One UI upgrade could be the model’s last major update.

CNET also received confirmation that some Samsung apps and services will be ported to Wear OS, but Samsung Health is not among them — instead, Google Fit will be the primary method of recording steps and exercises. It’s interesting to see Samsung ditching the health platform it has developed since 2012, especially when other wearable manufacturers like OnePlus and Mobvoi are ramping up their own health services.

Featured image: Galaxy Watch 3

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.