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A few months back we heard that Samsung would soon release a Tizen update for its first smartwatch called Galaxy Gear. It carried the Galaxy branding because the smartwatch was powered by Android. However earlier this year Samsung unveiled its new crop of Tizen OS powered wearables, shifting altogether from Android. So an update for the Galaxy Gear was previewed back then. Today the Tizen OS update for Galaxy Gear has finally been released in the U.S.

This is an optional update so those Galaxy Gear owners who want to update can do so, those who want to stay put with Android can choose not to. It is available through the Kies 3.0 software and the update brings several new features and advancements to the company’s first smartwatch.

Updating to Tizen OS brings access to more apps, over 140 are currently available for Samsung’s homegrown OS. It will also bring enhancements found on the Gear 2. Users will be able to store music on Galaxy Gear and play it back directly from the smartwatch using Bluetooth headphones, without needing to carry a Galaxy smartphone.

Tizen OS update for Galaxy Gear also brings an improved user interface with more customization options for home screen icons, wallpapers and font. It also gains the ability to track workouts in real-time, such as hiking, cycling, walking and running.

Do keep in mind though that once Galaxy Gear is updated to Tizen OS it can not be brought back to Android, so choose wisely. Samsung has since released Gear Live, a smartwatch based on Android Wear, Google’s new platform for wearable devices.

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about galaxy gear, Samsung, tizen and Wearable Tech.

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