Back in May, Samsung began rolling out an update for the Samsung Galaxy Gear for select global markets that removed the Android-based OS on the watch in favor of the Tizen platform. Now this same update is making its way to users in the United States.
If you bought the Galaxy Gear largely because of the fact it was based on Android, it’s important to note that Samsung isn’t forcing the update on anyone and makes it clear that the ‘upgrade’ is optional. That said, they suggest that switching to Tizen will bring a pretty noticeable level of improvement to the device.
So what exactly is different here? First off, Tizen OS has around 140 apps, double of what’s available to the Galaxy Gear running Android. Second, the update brings some of the Gear 2’s special features like the ability to store tunes onto the watch and listen to them through Bluetooth headphones.There’s also more choices for wallpapers, fonts, home screens and a revamped UI. Samsung also says that there are improved fitness/health functions and, arguably most importantly, the Galaxy Gear’s battery life will be noticeably improved by making the move.
What do you give up when switching? Being based on Android means it is more than possible to sideload Android apps onto the watch, including alternative launchers. This also means its easier to tinker to your heart’s content an add custom ROMs. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to remember that once you make the move to Tizen, it can’t be undone — at least that’s Samsung’s claim.
So how about it Galaxy Gear owners, plan on ditching Android in favor of Tizen? For more details on how to make the switch, you’ll want to head on over to Samsung’s website.