Do you remember the first generation smartwatch from Samsung that launched last year alongside the Galaxy Note 3? After being unceremoniously replaced by a new model after six months, the Samsung Galaxy Gear is finding a new lease on life with an upgrade to the same Tizen operating system that is used by the watch that replaced it, the Gear 2.
The Galaxy Gear was launched last year running a modified version of Google’s Android operating system, the same one used in Samsung’s line of Galaxy smartphones and tablets not the new Android Wear OS which Samsung is signed up to release hardware for as well. The new Gear 2 and Gear Neo dropped their ‘Galaxy’ designations when they switched operating systems to Samsung’s in-house developed Tizen OS, which left us wondering whether the original Galaxy Gear would continue to receive new feature and apps as Samsung focused all of its efforts on Tizen.
Well Samsung has removed all of the doubt by releasing an update for the Galaxy Gear that replaces the original Android operating system with Tizen, bringing parity across the generations of Gear and also adding in some features that the new Gear 2 had that its predecessor did not.
Along with the benefits to battery life and performance that Samsung touted for the Gear 2, the original Galaxy Gear will also get the ability to monitor sleep patterns using Sleep mode in S Health as well as improved workout monitoring in Exercise mode (the Galaxy Gear was previously only able to track footsteps using the built-in Pedometer). Users will also be able to use the on board storage of the Galaxy Gear to store music and play it back without needing a connected smartphone, just like the Gear 2.
The update is not yet available over-the-air through the Gear Manager app but has been made available in several countries through the Kies desktop application. Just a friendly warning that if you do decide to upgrade all of your information will be wiped and you will need to pair your Galaxy Gear with your smartphone again. Third-party applications will also no longer be available unless the developer has ported them across to Tizen.[Source, Image – SAMMobile]