Galaxy Gear

Refreshed Gear said to be shown off at MWC later this month

According to confidential sources cited by USA Today, Samsung will show us a refreshed Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and it won't be running Android.

Mobile World Congress The sources, who want to remain nameless, say that the Tizen powered Gear will be presented at Mobile World Congress later this month in Spain. Here's where Android fans will get riled up, but this is actually something I've been expecting. Android is a rich operating system that works well with intricate mobile devices. The fact that it has a full application framework out of the box makes it especially attractive to both manufacturers as well as consumers, and the explosive ride to the top of the market share shows us exactly that. Android is perfect for your smartphone.

But maybe not your watch.

Tizen is robust as well, but it can be drastically scaled back without stepping on any OHA (Open Handset Alliance) toes. Samsung, as a development partner of Tizen, is in the unique position where they can build a customizable version of the OS for things like watches, cameras and BluRay players. Putting Tizen on the next Galaxy Gear is a great idea.

Do I think Samsung wants to abandon Android? No. Android is developed by some of the best minds in the world, and given away freely. On top of that, all manufacturers — not just Samsung — are free to customize and tamper with things to make their own flavor. Android is what has made Samsung the success they are in the smartphone sector, and they won't walk away from that until Android is no longer profitable.

But putting their own OS — one that doesn't need to run full blown smartphone apps — on the Galaxy Gear makes perfect sense and I think is a very good move. We'll know more in just a handful of days. This is going to be one interesting MWC.

Source: USA Today