This is what Tencent’s version of Android Wear looks like on a circular smartwatch

tencent tos operating system news logo
Chinwag/Flickr.com
Unless you live in China, you may not know Tencent Holdings. For the uninitiated, it’s a huge Internet company which among other things, owns China’s largest social network QQ, and the most widely used messaging app, WeChat. Earlier this year it challenged Android’s supremacy on smartphones with the launch of Tencent Operating System (TOS); now it’s back with TOS+, designed to take on Android in the wearables market, VR, and the Internet of Things.

Updated on 05-06-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in pictures of TOS+ running on a smartwatch, along with a few more feature details.

Tencent has based TOS and TOS+ on Android, and developers are free to use the platform provided a revenue share agreement is reached. TOS+ is destined to be used on the hardware, which is only just starting to capture people’s attention, from smartwatches to VR headsets. These, along with smart televisions, are all ideal platforms for pushing Tencent’s huge catalog of gaming apps, along with its social and entertainment services. The company also has a mobile payments system, which could operate on a TOS+ smartwatch via a TOS smartphone.

Images showing TOS+ running on a circular-faced smartwatch have shown up in China, revealing a very familiar looking user interface. Tencent’s software is built on Android, and from the pictures, the Android Wear design remains in the wearable version. Features including WeChat messaging, call management, alarms, music control, email, and fitness tracking are all displayed, suggesting these will be standard features on TOS+ hardware.

In an article accompanying the images, we’re told the aforementioned mobile payments feature may be joined by the ability to book taxis, and to make reservations at restaurants, plus TOS+ will likely come with voice recognition.

Only software from Tencent, hardware will be left to the experts

According to this local report on TOS+’s launch, Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, and Qualcomm are all interested in utilizing the operating system in the future. Tencent’s CEO Ren Yu Xin said the company wouldn’t be launching any hardware of its own, meaning it doesn’t intend to use TOS in the same way Amazon uses its version of Android.

Android has a 72-percent market share in China, according to Kantar WorldPanel research, but it’s dominated by forked versions such as Xiaomi’s MIUI, which don’t come with Google’s apps installed. Tencent’s not the only one trying to muscle its way into the space, with search company Baidu and online shopping giant Alibaba both working on their own mobile operating systems.

However, Tencent’s mission is not an easy one. Samsung hasn’t managed to succeed with Tizen, and Microsoft hasn’t won many hearts with Windows Phone, proving if you’re not Google or Apple, it’s hard to get much attention. Except with 1 billion people using QQ and WeChat combined already, Tencent must be fairly confident of at least a degree of interest. There has been no announcement regarding when TOS+ will make its debut on any hardware.

Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.
Gaming

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.
Outdoors

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.
Mobile

Galaxy Watch vs. Apple Watch Series 4: Which one is the smartest?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Apple Watch Series 4 are two of the best smartwatches available today. But which is better? We put the two watches head-to-head to find out which you should buy.
Mobile

Verizon begins RCS messaging rollout with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

What is RCS messaging? It's the successor to today's text messaging. It offers features like real-time audio, read receipts, and encryption, but adoption so far has been slow. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Deals

Need a last-minute gift? Get an iPhone Wireless Charger for under $20

Whether you're looking for stocking stuffers or gift ideas, these deals from Mophie, Anker, and Yootech can get you a wireless charging pad for cheap. Don't settle for wired charging if you don't have to.
Mobile

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition comes with 10GB of RAM, and supercar style

OnePlus has partnered with McLaren F1, creating the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition. With 10GB of RAM and all the usual top-level hardware, this new flagship killer comes with some new design touches.
Mobile

New Moment photo cases and lenses are a big plus for the OnePlus 6

Moment has announced that it is now releasing photo cases and lenses for the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T, giving owners of those phones the ability to add on some high-quality photographic accessories.
Mobile

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition: Everything you need to know

The Vivo Nex Dual Edition is the gorgeous flagship we need to close out 2018. In addition to dual screens, the Nex Dual Edition has some other awesome features. Here's everything you need to know about the new Vivo Nex Dual Edition.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.