Samsung’s killing its WatchON service in all but two markets

Wave goodbye to WatchON. Photo: Samsung

Wave goodbye to WatchON. Photo: Samsung

WatchON, one of the more useful services that comes baked into Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface for Android, is being wiped out in all but two markets, the South Korean company has confirmed today. Users will be able to keep content they’ve purchased through WatchON, while the Galaxy Note 4’s new Smart Remote app is expected to replace its IR remote functionality on other Galaxy smartphones.

WatchON has two main functions that made it a useful service for TV addicts: Not only did it act as a universal TV remote for handsets with a built-in IR blaster, but it also made it easy for users to find their favorite shows and movies with its baked-in TV guides. It also delivered show reminders, and allowed users to record programs that they didn’t want to miss.

But unfortunately for fans of WatchON, it’s getting the chop. By December 31, only those in the U.S. and Korea will still have full access to it.

“On December 31st, 2014, Samsung WatchON will discontinue full service in all markets, except the United States and Korea,” Samsung said in a statement to SamMobile“We would like to assure customers that content previously purchased through Samsung WatchON will not be affected and will remain accessible through the relevant content provider’s application.”

Perhaps you didn’t use WatchON’s built-in TV guides anyway, but what about its remote functionality — is your Galaxy’s IR blaster useless now? Well, presumably that aspect of the WatchON app will remain functional for now, but later on, Samsung is expected to replace it with the new Smart Remote app that comes pre-installed on the Galaxy Note 4.