Owners of the original Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch can now switch the device’s operating system to the open source Tizen OS, a move that provides more evidence that Samsung is actively loosening its ties with Android. The company’s second round of smartwatches have always run on the Tizen operating system, however the original model shipped with Android. Users wanting to shift over to Tizen can do so immediately, but it’s not a particularly straightforward process.
Samsung, as promised in May, has started rolling out Tizen OS update for its first-generation Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The update is currently available in the US only, while there is no word when the Tizen OS update for the Galaxy Gear will reach other regions. The company announced the news via its Samsung US Press official site and said, “Owners of the original Samsung Galaxy Gear are now able to update their devices to the new Tizen-based Gear software used in the newest generation of Gear 2 devices.” The South Korean clearly notes that the Tizen OS update for the Android-based Galaxy Gear smartwatch users is optional. However, the company confirmed that once updated to Tizen; the Galaxy Gear smartwatch cannot be reverted to the original Android-based system. The Tizen update is available via Kies 3.0 software and brings a number of features to the Galaxy Gear. Notably, the Tizen update for the Galaxy Gear brings goodies from the company’s second generation Gear smartwatch. “By updating the Galaxy Gear to Tizen OS, users will have access to more apps, about 140 apps worldwide available for Tizen OS – nearly twice what is currently available on the Galaxy Gear,” added the company.