After Google announced at I/O 2021 that the company has partnered with Samsung to create a new operating system “Wear OS,” many of us thought that Samsung will ditch Tizen for its future smartwatches. But as it turns out Samsung has decided to combine the best features of both Wear OS and Tizen in one custom UI call “One UI Watch” announced at MWC today.
“One UI Watch” is a new interface for Galaxy smartwatches that “will provide a consistent experience and look with other Galaxy devices.” It’s a kind of software skin that will live on top of the new Wear OS. Both new Wear OS and this new One UI skin will make their debut on Galaxy Watch 4, the company has confirmed.
Along with announcing this, Samsung has also provided us with our first look at the One UI Watch with three videos showing some of its capabilities including – Auto App Installation, App Ecosystem, New Watch Face Design Tool.
Auto App Installation
First on the list is Auto App Installation, a feature that will enable deeper integration between your smartphone and smartwatch. Meaning if you download a watch compatible app (like Spotify) on your smartphone then its Wear OS version will automatically get downloaded through this feature. Another thing it will enable is time zone syncing.
Samsung also showed that any calls and messages blocked from the Galaxy Watch will also be blocked on the smartphone. Another plus to user experience.
Next on the list is App Ecosystem, the most needed feature as it will allow users to access the Google Play Store, on which you can find hundreds of third-party apps.
Samsung has also confirmed that the next Galaxy Watch will have access to Google Play Store apps.
A new watch face design tool
The final feature on the list is an improved watch face design tool kit for watch face designers. The software will allow designers to create unique watchfaces by using a very simple interface.
Well, it’s not clear whether anyone would be able to download this software or if it will be exclusive to some designers only.
Samsung also confirmed that it will provide “up to 3 years of software updates” to older Tizen-based smartwatches. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 will be the first to feature this One UI Watch, which will be unveiled at Samsung’s Unpacked event “later this summer.” And unlike the Wear OS, this software skin won’t be making its way to smartwatches from other OEMs.