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.
There are more than a couple Gears to choose from these days, but not that long ago, there was only one. That awkward piece of tech is more affordable now, though it still hasn't dropped down to the price many people would like to pay for it. That makes now a good time to pay some attention to Best Buy. Today the retailer has refurbished versions of the original Galaxy Gear going for just $89.99, a price that's on the better side of $100.
We had a good run didn't we? It's the beginning of the end now that Samsung has started pushing Tizen as an alternative to Android. The newly announced Samsung Z is a powerful smartphone that runs an updated version of Samsung's open source Tizen OS. Oh, why didn't we listen to all the scaremongering posts that went up after the Gear 2 was announced? WHYYYYY?
We knew it was coming, but that doesn't make it any less weird to me. Samsung is now rolling out an update to the original Galaxy Gear that effectively removes Android, replacing it with the company's self-built mobile OS, Tizen (which is what the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit are all running). This immediately raises one question in my mind: since "Galaxy" is Samsung's branding for Android devices, will it just be called "Gear" moving forward?
The Galaxy Gear didn't jumpstart Samsung's wearable ecosystem as it had hoped. In fact, it was such a disappointment that the company released a new version alongside the Galaxy S5 just a few months later. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo run Tizen instead of Android, but there was rampant speculation that the original Gear would be moved to Tizen eventually. Apparently that's close to happening, and SamMobile got some hands-on time with Tizen on the Galaxy Gear.
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.
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.