Samsung announced its latest range of wearables, the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit last month at its Unpacked 2014 Episode 1 event, where it was revealed that these new wearables will not be running on Android. We then knew that the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be powered by Tizen, Samsung’s home-grown mobile platform. Now, it has been revealed that the Gear Fit is not running on either Android or Tizen.
So what is the Gear Fit running on?
Interestingly, this bit of information slipped through a lot of publications when it was revealed at MWC 2014. CNET was informed by Samsung that the Gear Fit is running on a real-time operating system (RTOS), allowing it to eke out substantially longer battery life with limited hardware. That’s also a reason why Samsung does not disclose the processor and memory specifications of the Gear Fit.
Naturally, there is a downside to great battery life on the Gear Fit. A RTOS allows it to perform a specific set of tasks efficiently, but nothing else. Hence, the capabilities of the Gear Fit will be limited to what Samsung has already defined at launch. It is for this reason that the Gear Fit will not have a robust app ecosystem.
Well, in all likelihood there wouldn’t even be any ecosystem to speak of, since Samsung does not have an SDK to create apps for the Gear Fit, but instead an SDK for apps to push notifications to the wearable device. In contrast, Samsung has released a robust open SDK for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, allowing developers to create apps for Samsung’s latest smartwatches.