Google partners with Samsung for Tizen smartwatch and wearable operating system: Is Wear OS retiring?

Google Android Wear OS Samsung Tizen
Google’s smartwatch OS might have Tizen innards. Pic credit: Intel Free Press/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Google has approached Samsung for the latter’s Tizen smartwatch and wearable operating system. Perhaps Google’s Wear OS could retire in favor of a new wearable OS, tentatively called “Wear.”

After numerous experiments with the Wear OS, Google appears to have partnered with Samsung to address numerous issues with its own smart wearable operating system.

Samsung Tizen smartwatch OS coming to a wider userbase after a partnership with Google?

It is been quite a few years since Google first introduced Wear OS. The company once called the lightweight operating system Android Wear.

Needless to mention, Samsung’s Tizen operating system seems far more light, versatile, and powerful in comparison to Google Wear OS. The primary limiting factor was that only Samsung’s wearable and smart devices had access to the same.

Incidentally, Tizen OS and Tizen-powered smartwatches can work with Android smartphones and smart devices. However, users have to install quite a few “helpers” apps. In other words, there’s no smooth or frictionless experience.

There are several possible reasons that could explain the seemingly poor experience Google Wear OS offers. But it is not clear why Google, of all companies, couldn’t offer a powerful, lightweight, and fluid smartwatch OS.

There’s no doubt that Samsung has invested heavily in the Tizen OS ecosystem. The company has proven that Tizen-powered smartwatches have better battery life, app support, and overall performance.

Moreover, Samsung’s own foundries can churn out smartwatch SoC. Google, meanwhile, has to rely on Qualcomm.

The Snapdragon 4100 platform is promising, but the hardware still needs a capable operating system. And this is where Samsung’s Tizen OS might help Google build a powerful OS for the smart wearable devices.

Is the Google Wear OS retiring?

Interestingly, Samsung too bet on the Google Wear OS, but gradually transitioned its smartwatches entirely to the Tizen platform. Needless to mention, the Korean tech giant hasn’t looked back.

Even OnePlus seems to have given up on Google’s offering. There has to be something fundamentally amiss for such partners to abandon a readily available smartwatch OS.

Google smart wearable OS still has the biggest ace up its sleeve. It has tight integration with Google Play Store. None of the other operating systems for wearable devices have access to such a wealth of apps.

Hence, it seems Google won’t abandon its product. Instead, Google and Samsung might co-develop a Tizen-hybrid Wear OS.

In the process, Google will gain the benefits of Tizen OS, while Samsung can tap into the massive Android developer community. Moreover, together, the companies could take on Facebook.

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