If you’re not a fan of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, which it slaps on all its Android smartphones, then the Gear Live may be a breath of fresh air. The company’s first Android Wear smartwatch offers a pure Google experience with no bloatware to be seen, but that may not last very long. Speaking to CNET, the company says it plans to add its own apps and services to future Android Wear devices, depending on what Google will let it get away with.
Samsung won’t be able to modify Android Wear with a custom skin. For now that’s strictly banned by Google, which clearly wants to take a different strategy here than it did with Android for phones and tablets. At the moment that means Android Wear is a pure Google experience, but Samsung hopes it can use the platform’s open SDK to develop its own apps and services down the road, though it’s unclear if they’ll come pre-installed on future devices.
It should be interesting to see how Google and Samsung collaborate on Android Wear moving forward. The South Korean company already has a few smartwatches under its belt, but none of its Gear devices so far have seen any real success. Whether Samsung can produce a hit with Android Wear remains to be seen, though clogging the device up with its own apps probably won’t make things better.