By Stephen Schenck | February 18, 2014 5:00 PM
Something needs to change with the Galaxy Gear. Samsung’s aware of this, and for a while now we’ve been expecting the company to prepare a second-gen Galaxy Gear for this spring, hoping to correct some of the missteps the first smartwatch made. But what, exactly, could Samsung be hoping to change? Would it finally open the watch up to operation with non-Samsung Androids? Could it significantly improve the watch’s battery life? What about doing something about that big camera bulge on the strap? As we wait for answers, an unexpected theory crosses our desk, with the suggestion that Samsung could switch platform’s for the smartwatch’s OS.
The first-gen Galaxy Gear, despite its petite build, ran full-on Android. Sure, Samsung didn’t really open the watch up to fully take advantage of that fact, but enterprising users managed to sideload APKs with the help of ADB.
Reportedly, the Galaxy Gear 2 may instead run Tizen – and specifically, a new HTML-5-based release. While not quite what we had been expecting, it actually sounds pretty logical: Tizen has already found a home on embedded systems, and its resource demands might be more manageable than Android’s. It’s also long overdue for some good public exposure, and a smartwatch could be a nice low-impact way for Samsung to get the word about Tizen out there.
Update: Beyond this Tizen business, other rumors claim that we’re looking at multiple Galaxy Gear models for next week’s Unpacked event. We don’t yet know if that means various sizes, or more functional differences, but we’ll be finding out soon either way.