Man, Samsung really likes to have all of the attention to itself. Despite a stripped-back Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, the company’s presentation was entirely devoted to One UI Watch, Samsung’s new wearables operating system. Not hardware, not phones, just the OS — and a promise that we’ll see it in action on something at the company’s next Unpacked event. Which will probably take place in July this year, now.
One UI Watch what I can do
You can watch the entire event, in the event that you missed it the first time around, or you can just read on for a rundown of what Samsung’s Google-collaborated wearables operating system can do. There are two parts to it, the bit made with Google (which people are just calling ‘Wear’ for the moment) and then the part Samsung actually talked about — One UI Watch, which is basically just Samsung skin just for its own devices.
The main focus of the new OS seems to be making your smartwatch more of an extension of a smartphone than a separate device. Samsung gave a few examples: blocking a phone number using a Galaxy Watch will see the setting transfer to your smartphone, while downloading a smartwatch-compatible app on a smartphone will see the relevant software also downloaded to your smart wristwear. Which takes a lot of admin out of owning one of these things.
Google Play will be available directly from Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, which adds the third-party app support Samsung’s excellent Tizen system was missing. It’s a cool feature, in case you don’t want to avail yourself of the ability to just do downloads automagically through your handset.
There’s also a new feature coming for developers — a revamped watch face designer that will allow for simpler creation of custom digital faces for Samsung’s wearables. It will, to use Samsung’s vomit-inducing term, allow devs to “…unleash their creativity and release fun.” We’ve never ‘released fun’ before. We’re not sure we even know how to do that. Is special training required?
It’s likely that there’s a new Unpacked event on the horizon, where we’ll see everything from the new Galaxy Fold 3 and Galaxy Flip 3, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2, as well as all the wearable tech that will arrive sporting that fresh new One UI Watch operating system.