Samsung Galaxy Gear update swaps Android for Tizen

A new software update for the first-generation Samsung smartwatch removes all traces of Android in favor of the company's in-house OS.

Samsung updates Galaxy Gear with homegrown Tizen OS. Andrew Hoyt/CNET

Samsung is in the process of rolling out a software update to its first-gen Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Not just any update, mind you, but one that changes the entire operating system.

According to tech blog SamMobile, a version 2.2.0 software update switches the smartwatch from Android to Samsung's own Tizen OS.

Along with the new OS come a number of new features, including a standalone music player, voice commands for the camera, and improved battery life. Once installed, the Galaxy Gear will closely mimic the functionality of the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

Reportedly, the software update can be installed via Samsung Kies. A note of warning, however: all data saved on the Galaxy Gear will be wiped before the update begins. What's more, some third-party apps may not function properly after completion. SamMobile believes the file may also be made available as an over-the-air update.

While this might sound like a big deal on the surface, it's likely that most users won't notice the difference. In fact, it's a safe bet that many smartwatch owners can't name the software that powers their wearables. And, from the sounds of things, the UI doesn't stray much from its original designs.

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