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Samsung to end app support for its first Android smartwatch, eight years later

Just as Samsung is returning to Android wearables.

Published onJuly 5, 2021

  • Samsung is ending Galaxy Store support for the original Galaxy Gear on August 5.
  • This marks nearly eight years after the Android smartwatch arrived.
  • Samsung is asking users to migrate to Tizen — right as it returns to Android watches.

Believe it or not, Samsung has been supporting Android apps on the original Galaxy Gear ever since the camera-equipped smartwatch made its debut in 2013 — a lifetime ago in the technology world. All that is about to come to an end, though, as SamMobile reports that Samsung is ending support for Galaxy Store services on the watch as of August 5, 2021.

Samsung told Galaxy Gear owners in a notice that they’ll have to update their watches to Tizen to keep receiving Galaxy Store apps. The switch might sound unreasonable when it involves wiping user data and losing support for certain apps. However, Samsung first released the Tizen update in 2014. You’ve had plenty of time to prepare for this moment, in other words.

Related: The best Wear OS watches

The timing, as you might guess, is more than a little inconvenient. Samsung is about to introduce its first Wear OS watch (that is, not Android Wear). You’re updating your Galaxy Gear to Tizen right as Samsung appears to be dropping Tizen in favor of Wear OS — you may be trading one obsolete operating system for another.

It’s safe to say this notice won’t reach many people. Most Galaxy Gear owners have likely moved to newer devices (if they still have smartwatches in the first place), and there’s a good chance many of those wearers updated to Tizen years ago.

Even so, it’s surprising news. It not only shows that Samsung was committed to basic app support eight years later, it suggests that there’s enough people using Android on the Galaxy Gear that Samsung felt compelled to issue a warning. If you’re one of those precious few holdouts, we salute you.

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