As Samsung continues to forge ahead with its own wearable plans, the Korean OEM is faced with a problem – apps. To encourage developers to start using its Gear 2 Tizen SDK, Samsung will be running an App Challenge starting May 8th. Cash prizes will total $1.25 million, and the first place winner will get $100,000.


The original Galaxy Gear wasn't in a great place with apps, but at least it was based on Android. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are running Tizen, which lacks the developer community around Android (hence the contest). Developers will be allowed to register their Tizen wearable apps for consideration beginning on May 8th, but the company hasn't specified how long the competition will run.

Samsung will also be holding developer workshops around the world in an effort to get people interested in building for its wearable platform. With Android Wear coming this summer, Samsung might need to throw a lot more cash around to keep the Gear going.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • hot_spare

    It's good that they ditched Android. Atleast it now sucks much less battery.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      The battery life of the Gear 2 is incredible. I have no idea how much of that is Tizen as opposed to other factors, though. I guess we'll find out by examining the original Gear if Samsung follows through on their promise to update it to Tizen. We'll see.

      • kekkojoker90

        Upgrade to tizen for the first gear is a big deal! He have more battery than the gear 2

        • Gunnar Forsgren

          What do you mean ? Have you been able to upgrade the first Gear to run Tizen ?

    • Chris

      I'm not sure about you guys but I had to exchange my Gear 2 for a new one after 3 days. Battery would hardly get me through a day and I can't say I'm a heavy user.

      Average day, 8:00am full battery, gym at noon for 1 hour running app, maybe gym at 5:00 1 hour running app again. By 7:00pm I was down to 30% battery.

      I ran the sleep monitor last night starting at midnight and a full battery, by 7:00am I was down to 17% battery.

      Just exchanged for a new one hoping it was a battery issue, after 30 minutes consisting of setting up the watch and randomly checking the time it's down to 93%.

      Specs quote "Typical usage : 3~4 days, Low usage : Up to 5 days"

      As long as I don't use any features at all I may get 1 day... Am I missing something here? I guess my version of "Typical" is not the same as theirs. I've also noticed that notifications are random. I've had approx 2 of every 5 notifications "texts or email" not displaying on the watch while phone is in pocket or simply sitting on my desk with screen off.

      Anyone else with issues?

      • Chris

        One more thing, I've also noticed the watch randomly disconnects from the phone only to reconnect moments later. Phone is no more than 2-3 feet away from watch.

        • Josh

          Bluetooth isn't perfect on any device.

      • Naren

        It seems their 2-3 days is a humbug. I am surprised how so many blogs have written so good about the battery.

      • LL

        I got Gear 2, 6 days ago, and battery life has been bad. Yesterday I thought it was getting better, lasting me almost a day, then today, it only lasted 6 hours! And I did nothing on it except look at time and looked at 2 brief notifications.

        I am about to return it if tomorrow still good.

      • Emilio

        I purchased my Gear 2 Neo the same day it was released in U.S. and I experienced the same thing with only a day of battery life. I thought it was such crap. I have tweaked a few settings such as turning off Wake-up gesture (greatly improved). It felt silly needing to press the button just to view the time but it's really not a big deal.

        I use the watch for work with the pedometer running 24/7. I get notifications from sms, gmail, etc. I use it to reply and I would consider my use just a little bit more than typical use.

        I went on a 3 day trip and didn't bring the charger because I knew it would last. I'm half way into day 2 and still at 70%.

        Hopefully this helps!

      • Josh

        You're using it ALL the time, especially with the sleep monitor. That's not surprising.

    • Josh

      Yeah I have a Neo and I'm on my third day of a charge and battery is at 44%. As soon as I turned off Facebook notifications (which are useless on the watch anyway) my battery life jump a lot.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

    I own a Gear 2 and the app issue is a major one. There are currently only about 30 apps available for it, and most of those are bargain basement ones that no one has ever heard of. Samsung needs to get developers on board, but Tizen is kind of a catch 22 at this stage. Samsung needs apps to help move watches, but developers want an install base before committing time and resources to making apps for a new platform.

    When Android launched, Google's products and services were popular enough that those apps alone were enough to entice people to buy early Android devices. Samsung has no such luxury in this case.

    I really like the Gear 2. It's a really great product, in my opinion, and is definitely light years ahead of the original Gear (which isn't difficult). It's going to be really interesting to see if Samsung can get developers on board.

  • HolyFreakingCrap

    The Gear will never be mainstream unless samsung removes the requirement that it be used with one of their shitty mobile devices.

    • Your Mother

      some iDiot said the same thing about the first Note.

  • Derrick Amundsen

    Personally, I think Samsung should ditch Tizen and release an update / upgrade to Android Wear. Tizen will never catch on with developers, I don't care how much money they throw at it.

    Do you think Motorola, LG, Sony or HTC will ever make a Tizen based wearable? Hell no. So what makes Samsung think Tizen will last in the marketplace?

    And this is coming from someone who has a Gear 2 and likes it.

    • Your Mother

      if its 100% compatible with Android, why not?

      • Derrick Amundsen

        I didn't think it was compatible? Especially considering Android Wear came out after the Gear 2 was released. If it is, I take back everything I just said. Can you point me to a resource?

  • Naren

    Guys, I am from India.

    I recently ordered a Gear 2 Neo. I have a big time Problem with Battery. On a Full Charge, even if I just keep my watch in sleep, after 30 mins, its down to 80% and till noon to 50% and by evening, it gives me a battery charge notification.

    Apps and Usage:
    1. Only the Notifications on my phone keep coming
    2. Watch wake up to give me time
    3. Pedometer when I am on the move
    4. May be 1 or 2 calls
    5. Call Answering
    6. Of course, BLUETOOTH is always on!

    So, I just returned by Gear 2 neo and waiting for their update.

    A promise of 2-3 and up to 6 days looks very elusive. Hardly 10 hours on full charge!

  • Gunnar Forsgren

    One thing to understand with the new watch, Tizen and apps;
    In this second generation the watch runs the Tizen OS and when developing third party apps the watch will run the user interface part of your app, a so called Web Widget that runs on a web browser in the watch. That is the only app stuff you can develop for the Gear2 watch, Ui Widgets. In that sense the Gear2 has been "dumbed down" to only offer development of such content on the watch side. The rest of the app you develop in Android and it can only run on Samsung phones. A Bluetooth library and session protocol for Gear that is required for watch/phone communication has been made part of the Samsung Mobile SDK which can only be installed on Samsung phones. The positive thing is that there now exists a public SDK that allows developing own apps that can talk to your own developed Web Widgets on the Gear 2 watch. Thus the phone app can relay the "power of he internet" onto the watch. For the contest; bear in mind that the task is to develop a client UI to run on the watch and peer Android app that run on a Samsung phone.