Samsung’s first generation of smartwatches is officially ditching Android. The original Galaxy Gear is being upgraded to Tizen, the operating system used on the newer Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Samsung has made a point of differentiating its software from stock Android, but in this case, the main difference will be in added features. The update brings most of the Gear 2’s new capabilities over to the Galaxy Gear. Most notably, that means the old Android step-counter now tracks sleep patterns and more detailed exercise measurements, a standalone music player can store music to be synced with Bluetooth headphones, and battery life should be noticeably better.
The time has come for owners of the original Galaxy Gear to say goodbye to Android and welcome Tizen onto their smartwatch. Samsung has begun rolling out an update to the Galaxy Gear that will bring over Tizen, the company’s in-house OS, to the smartwatch. The update carries software version 2.2.0, and while the entire OS will be replaced, most users won’t notice any visual differences. However, quite a few improvements and new features are to be had – improved performance and battery life, features such as an standalone music player (you can store music on the watch itself), customizable shortcuts for tap input, voice commands in the camera, among others. Basically, you get most of the features that debuted on the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, except for those that are dependent on hardware like the heart rate sensor. We offered an exclusive look at an early version of the Tizen update on the Galaxy Gear, so be sure to check it out to see what all has changed. As for the update itself, you will need to either update via Kies, or grab the firmware file manually from our firmware section(search for SM-V700) and upgrade manually. We’re unsure if this update will roll out over the air, but if it does, you will be able to grab it from the Gear Manager app on your phone or tablet.