Samsung is sending an update out to all the owners of its new wearables in the US. Surely there are some of them, right? So yes, that Gear 2, Gear2 Neo, or Gear Fit on your wrist is about to get slightly better. I mean, it's still a Gear, but you know.
Come on, you can't be serious. This has to be a joke, right? No? Fleksy is actually making a tiny software keyboard for the Gear 2? Okay then.
Fleksy claims that its Messenger keyboard is the first one to be featured on the Gear 2, and we're not going to argue. Touching on the inevitable difficulty of typing on a screen 1.6 inches across, the press release says that "Fleksy’s sleek design and unparalleled prediction engine makes it virtually effortless." If you say so. At present the virtual keyboard is only for replying to text messages... not that there's much else you would want to type out like that.
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.
I've got a Gear 2 Fit review unit here, and I have to say, that curved OLED display is downright striking. This may be the most fashionable... thing Samsung's ever produced. How useful is it? Well, you'll have to wait for our review on that one.
The Gears seem almost destined to let down hardcore Android users, though, because just as Samsung was gearing up to launch its new smartwatches, Google went and announced Android Wear.
We've all known the details surrounding the latest version of Samsung's flagship phone for several weeks, but now's the time to start getting our grubby fingers on one. Today Samsung has officially launched the Galaxy S5 in 125 countries across the globe, including areas in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.
To sweeten the purchase, Samsung is including an exclusive copy of FIFA 14 with the device and the chance to compete (in-game) against the Galaxy 11 team. Some shoppers will view this as a goal, whereas others will shrug this off as more unwanted bloat.
When Samsung announced the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo last month, the news came with the confirmation that the company was dropping Android from both devices. Instead, both smart watches are powered by Tizen. This may not mean all that much for consumers in the short term, but it does impact developers. For you, Samsung has just shared the first version of the Tizen SDK aimed at wearables. This is what you need to grab if you intend to build apps for the company's two intelligent wristwatches.
Samsung has versions of the SDK available for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu.
If you didn't get enough coverage of Samsung's new devices from our own Mobile World Congress posts, Sammy has posted its own official hands-on videos for the three new gadgets introduced at the show. The Samsung YouTube page now has in-depth videos for the Galaxy S5 and the Gear 2 and Gear Fit. They're pretty exhaustive: the phone video clocks in at just under eight minutes and the watch video is over nine minutes.
Here's the S5 video. If you're short on time, jump to the following points for specific features:
Screen and video: 1:15
Camera and camera app: 1:45
WiFi and download booster: 3:50
S-Health and heart rate monitor: 4:50
Ultra power-saving mode: 6:35
Fingerprint reader: 7:10
And here's the video for the new Gear 2 and Gear Fit.
We're still a bit more than a month out from Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Gear smart watches, but Samsung is looking to keep the hype train going with its new intro videos. You know the drill – it's super-pretty, everything works perfectly, and there's calming music in the background.
The Galaxy S5 video goes down the Samsung-approved bullet points one by one, showing off each feature. There's the camera, heart rate monitor, MIMI WiFi, ultra power saving mode, fingerprint reader, and so on.
The new Gears, on the other hand (or wrist) have a more limited feature set. The video only focuses on the Gear 2 and Gear Fit.
The new Samsung smartwatches might not have Android, but that doesn't mean they will be devoid of apps. PayPal has posted a video of its new smartwatch app in action on the Gear 2. This is a cartoonish rendering, but the real app will reportedly function just like we see in the video.
Just in case you were worried there wouldn't be anything intriguing or unexpected about Galaxy S5, check this out - Spritz, a new company (launched February 23rd) looking to "reinvent reading" will be coming exclusively to the S5 and Gear 2 by way of an email app. From Spritz's news release it isn't clear whether this will be the default app on the phone or a preloaded one, but the technology itself makes it interesting either way.
Spritz works on the principle that the human brain focuses the eye on one central point in every word, and from that point it can read and comprehend the word.