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Android Headliner: What’s The Reason For Google’s OEM Partners Developing Their Own Smartwatch OS?

February 15, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

In the world of smartwatches there are an increasing size of OS types and available options, but when it comes to Google’s OEM partners one would think that things would stay as close to Android as possible. Samsung began their smartwatch offerings with the Galaxy Gear, which initially ran Android, but was then later updated to be more in line with their new offerings running Tizen, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. Since then they have also released the Gear Live, which runs Android Wear, and the Gear S which runs Tizen. It seems Samsung is more focused on releasing Tizen based smartwatches to better work with their range of devices. Samsung isn’t the only OEM partner rumored to be launching a smartwatch that isn’t running Google’s Android Wear though, as both LG and HTC have been rumored to release smartwatches running a completely different OS of their own design.

What are the reasons for this when Android Wear is likely going to be the more popular choice when it comes to extending the experience of our Android smartphones? When it comes to any product we buy, choice always benefits the consumers so having multiple options in addition to Android Wear will be a good thing, as competition will foster innovation and force Google as well as the OEM’s releasing their own OS options to make things even better. Why so soon after releasing their second Android Wear enabled device would LG look to launch a smartwatch running on a different OS though? Keep in mind that this is just a rumor but are they looking to separate their smartwatches from Android as Samsung has seemingly done? When thinking about LG, it makes a little bit of sense for them to look into another avenue for a smartwatch OS, possibly WebOS based, as their smart products including their Smart TVs now run some form of WebOS technology, so in this regard perhaps it could be a way for them to offer a smartwatch that is compatible with their connected products with features their two Android Wear smartwatches don’t currently have the capability to do.

What about HTC though? It’s been said that they would not be releasing a smartwatch any time soon but rumors have been floating around that they would be looking to launch a smartwatch running on their own OS. Since HTC doesn’t have any devices or products running on their own in-house OS, what could HTC’s angle be if they decide to release a smartwatch that isn’t running Android Wear? Are they looking to ditch Google for any reason? Will there be any more OEM’s looking to develop their own smartwatch OS in house instead of continuing to develop Android Wear based devices?