There have been reports that Samsung is going to release a new Galaxy Watch that runs Wear OS, and a new report has details on what that might look like. Apparently, Samsung’s upcoming wearable will run Android but it will be topped with One UI 3.
According to SamMobile, the Galaxy Watch 4 will run Wear OS with One UI on top, with a revamped interface for improved usability.
“This will be an entirely new version of One UI for Samsung’s wearable devices,” SamMobile said. “So the new watches will have a similar look and feel even though the underlying OS will be different.”
Samsung is expected to unveil several new features when its Galaxy Watch 4 is introduced. Among them is a walkie-talkie feature, which will enable users to easily send short messages to friends and family. The Apple Watch has had a similar feature for a few years, and makes performing quick communication really easy. Samsung could also introduce SmartThings support.
Alongside the Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung is rumored to also launch two fitness-focused wearables, including the Galaxy Watch 4 Active. All of the new models, including the more traditional Galaxy Watch 4, are expected to run Wear OS with One UI. It’s unclear what other new features Samsung will introduce when the news becomes official.
If true, it’ll be a big departure for both Google and Samsung. Samsung hasn’t released a wearable running Android for a few years, while Google typically doesn’t allow OEMs to customize Wear OS, although we have seen it happen. It sounds like Google is potentially opening up to the idea as a way to reinvigorate the platform, which has failed to evolve in any meaningful way over the past few years.
Samsung has built Tizen into something to behold on its watches, and it seems to be well-liked by users. However, reports suggest the platform is more difficult to develop apps for, prompting Samsung to look toward Wear OS. Google is going to kick off I/O tomorrow, where we might get a small glimpse at what’s planned for the future of Wear OS, but whether we’ll see Samsung’s new watched make appearance remains to be seen.
More likely, Samsung will hold an Unpacked later this summer where the Galaxy Watch 4 series is expected — Wear OS and all.