Just in case you missed the big news from Google I/O 2021 yesterday, Samsung’s Tizen platform for smartwatches is dead. Actually, scratch that. To put it more accurately, Tizen is getting a new lease of life after getting merged with Google’s Wear OS to create a unified platform for upcoming smartwatches. One of those smartwatches will be the Galaxy Watch 4, and if leaks are to be believed, Google’s very own Pixel Watch too. But what happens to the current portfolio of Samsung smartwatches that are based on Tizen? Well, they are not going to be left out.
Samsung has assured that your existing Galaxy Watch will continue to receive software updates and official support for a while. For how long exactly? Three years from the date of launch for each model. “For customers who already own the Tizen OS based Galaxy smartwatches, we are continuing to provide at least three years of software support after the product launch,” wrote Janghyun Yoon, EVP and head of Samsung’s smartwatch division.
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) May 19, 2021
It is definitely assuring to see that Samsung is pledging software support for its current portfolio of Tizen-based smartwatches. And let’s be honest here. For a smartwatch that starts at $399 and was launched just last year, Galaxy Watch 3 owners would certainly be miffed if Samsung abandoned them to pursue its Wear OS ambitions. What magic (or disaster) comes out of that Tizen-WearOS merger in the foreseeable future is an altogether different debate.
Wear OS offers an open-source platform with a richer app ecosystem and a much wider developer base compared to Tizen. And on top of that, there is no dearth of services that are willing to port their offerings to Google’s wearable platform, something that Samsung’s smartwatches can greatly benefit from. However, Wear OS also has multiple issues of its own, with the most notable one being poor battery life. Google – and Samsung too – has assured that they are improving on both fronts by improving the responsiveness and app performance without compromising on battery life, which does sound promising. At least on paper, that is!