The new Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch closely resembles its predecessor, the Galaxy Gear, and in fact most users might not be aware from its UI that it’s actually running a different OS than the older gadget – Tizen, vs. Android. Samsung previously revealed that it would be bringing Tizen to the older Gear, too, and today it has begun that rollout (via SamMobile), offering old device owners the option to download and install Tizen on their devices.
As mentioned, most users probably won’t notice any glaring outward signs that everything has changed; Samsung has managed to keep the icons and display screens pretty much the same through the transition. But Tizen should offer up battery improvements for the older hardware, and it also introduces a standalone music player to the watch, along with voice commands for the built-in camera and more.
Originally, many saw Tizen as Samsung’s future bet on solo smartphone brilliance; by using its homegrown OS it could avoid being at all beholden to Google, and forge its own path. Now, however, it seems more like Samsung is betting on Tizen as an OS to power a new generation of mobile devices – ones that benefit most from having extremely efficient power consumption and a lightweight platform based on standards that are easy to develop for.
OG (original Gear) owners can download the update via Samsung Kies, but it’s not being pushed out over-the-air at the moment.