Future Samsung smartwatches will run Tizen, not Android Wear
Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones have their own unique software experience that’s different from nearly any other Android device. Samsung modifies the underlying phone Android OS to introduce new features and to better integrate its devices with its services. Google, however, is much more particular about the modifications made to its smartwatch platform, Android Wear, than it is to its phone and tablet software. Google doesn’t want other companies slapping on their own UI. So if Samsung wants to stay ahead of the Android Wear watches, not to mention the Apple Watch, it just might need to be able to make its own unique smartwatch software experience.
Samsung has already powered multiple devices with Tizen, a platform running on some watches, an occasional phone, and even refrigerators. But creating a full app ecosystem won’t be easy, and in many cases, it’s that third-party app selection that makes or breaks a platform. Windows Phone, for example, is dying, perhaps largely due to a lack of quantity (or quality) of apps. Samsung will need to make its Tizen-powered watches compelling enough for both consumers and developers to jump on board.
The Android Wear platform is moving quickly, too. Google announced big changes at its I/O event just recently with a handful of nice-to-have features, like handwriting text input. It will be interesting to see how other platforms like Watch OS and Tizen will react.