Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Samsung is currently one of the biggest sellers of Android-based Wear OS smartwatches, but there was a time a few years ago when Samsung completely pretended Wear OS didn’t exist. The Galaxy Watch range, when it was first conceived, used Samsung’s in-house Tizen operating system. Now, Samsung has been using Wear OS for a few generations now, and with Tizen watches getting older, Samsung is taking the step to kill off the operating system for good.

Samsung is set to discontinue its Tizen operating system for smartwatches by the end of 2025. This move comes after the company switched to Wear OS, in partnership with Google, for its flagship wearables starting with the Galaxy Watch 4. The sunsetting of Tizen OS will begin with the blocking of new Tizen Watch content from the Galaxy Store starting today. While existing downloads will remain on devices, purchased watch faces for older models like the Galaxy Watch 3 will no longer be available for download after September 30, 2025. After this point, your smartwatch won’t suddenly become a paperweight, but you’ll be seriously compelled to upgrade to a newer watch eventually.

It’s rather easy to do so, given how Galaxy Watches are frequently offered as bonuses on top of larger hardware launches (such as a new flagship phone), but still, the original Tizen-powered Galaxy Watches were bought by a lot of people and they’re probably still used today. They’re compatible with iPhones, for one, unlike the newer Wear OS models. The Galaxy Watch 3, the last Tizen-powered smartwatch, was released in 2020, just a year before Samsung switched to Wear OS again with the Galaxy Watch 4. Samsung also briefly tried to make Tizen-powered smartphones.

This decision comes as no surprise, as Samsung no longer sells smartwatches with Tizen OS and has already exceeded its promised support schedule for older devices. From this point onward, the only smartwatch operating system Samsung supports is Wear OS. Samsung’s decision to use Tizen as well as in-house Exynos processors made its smartwatches attractive during a time where Wear OS wasn’t doing too well and the segment of smartwatches based on the operating system was stagnating a lot. But it was basically just that—a different operating system for a different era. It served its purpose, and as Samsung doesn’t plan to release any more watches with the operating system, it was sooner than later going to meet its demise.

It should be noted here that this doesn’t apply for the Tizen operating system at large. Samsung is still using Tizen on its TVs, even the really expensive ones, and hasn’t yet switched to Google TV. In the case of TVs, Tizen has all the streaming apps you could possibly need to use, such as Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu. If the Tizen experience really bothers you that much (although it’s just fine), it’s as simple as buying an aftermarket streaming stick/streaming device and plugging it into an available HDMI port on the back of your TV if you want to use a different operating system.

If you happen to own a Tizen smartwatch, you have a little over a year before the operating system is fully dropped by Samsung for good. From there, it will probably just regress to a glorified fitness tracker over time. Another valid concern is that it can become a security nightmare over time with Samsung not rolling out security updates for it, and given it’s something that’s connected via Bluetooth to your smartphone, that might not be ideal. You’ll want to check out newer smartwatches before September 30, 2025 rolls around.

Source: Reddit via 9to5Google

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By John P.

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