Releasing a smartwatch in this day and age is a massive undertaking. You can’t just throw together some hardware, have it pull notifications from your phone over Bluetooth, and call it a day; maybe that flew in years past, but today’s smartwatch users demands a much more fleshed-out experience. Maybe more than anything, we want apps. Samsung switched platforms from Android to Tizen with the release of the Gear 2 (and Gear 2 Neo), and while that gives the company a bit of a fresh start, it also means that we’re starting from square one when it comes to software. Today, Samsung takes the first step towards doing something about that, releasing the Tizen SDK for Wearables.
The idea, obviously, is that by making this SDK available to the development community, we’ll start seeing devs bring existing software projects over to Samsung’s wearables (and presumably those already involved with Tizen will be among the earliest adopters).
But why would a developer want to create apps for Samsung’s smartwatches, when they’re so limited by their reliance on Samsung smartphones; why not code for Pebble, where the choice of phone isn’t going to restrict who can use your apps? Well, we’ve got some good news there, too. In a recent interview, Head of Innovation at Samsung Electronics Luke Mansfield touched upon the issue of Gear compatibility with non-Samsung handsets. While he admits that he hasn’t seen any official roadmap detailing the company’s plans for broadening compatibility, he’s convinced that such interoperability is coming at some point.