The rumors and leaks were indeed true and now Samsung is making it official. It is giving owners of the first generation Galaxy Gear smartwatch a chance to migrate their wearable timepiece over to a more up-to-date platform. No, Samsung isn’t talking about Android Wear. This is all about Tizen.
Before you take the plunge, you should probably know first what is involved so that you can make a more informed decision. The Tizen firmware update is completely optional and because of that, it isn’t delivered via OTA. If you want to get it, you’ll have to use the Kies 3.0 desktop software to get it to your Galaxy Gear. But the most important bit of information is this: once you get Tizen installed, you are stuck there for life. You will not be able to revert to the customized Android originally installed if you decide to go this route. It maybe possible some day for some of the arduous modders and developers to defy that limitation, but for now, the dire warning stands.
So why make the change? Well, according to Samsung, you get access to more apps, around 140, which is definitely more than those available currently for Galaxy Gear directly. You also get to play music directly on the watch and pipe it through a Bluetooh headset. And you also get many, but of course not all, of the features present in the second generation Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. So it is basically an upgrade. That is, if you actually buy Samsung’s spiel, who obviously has a vested interest in getting Tizen on as many real-world devices as possible.
To be honest, though, it is a very flimsy and weak proposition, especially considering there is no turning back once the vile deed has been done. Those seeking to extract more use from their Galaxy Gear might as well just install a custom ROM like null_ on the thing and get even more functionality, without leaving the comforts of Android. And of course, there’s is Android Wear, which is probably a better smartwatch platform than Tizen, because of its wider availability and compatibility beyond a single manufacturer. It might sound a bit biased, but then again, we’re Android Community after all.