Samsung announced that it would be adding iOS support to the Gear S2 smartwatch a few months ago, and it seems as though the company is well on its way to doing good on that promise. Screenshots of a beta version of the Gear S2 app for iOS were recently shared on the XDA developer forums, giving a first look of what the app might look like.
Certain forum members were actually also able to download and test out the app, offering a few details on how the app may work. The Gear S2, when paired with the iPhone, will be able to receive notifications, as well as install and manage apps from the Gear S2 app store. While the device will be able to get notifications, it doesn’t seem as though replying from the device will be possible at launch. Not only that, but in order for the connection to be maintained, the iPhone app has to continue to run in the background.
While it’s clear that the app is well in development, Samsung hasn’t given any hints yet as to when it will finally release the app and compatibility for the iPhone. All the company said when it announced its plans in January was the it would update the app “later this year.”
Google released iOS compatibility for all Android Wear devices a while ago, but in case you’re inexperienced with Samsung’s wearable devices, they actually don’t run Android Wear, instead running Samsung’s own operating system, called Tizen. In fact, not only are Samsung’s Tizen-based devices not yet compatible with iOS devices, they’re actually not even compatible with most Android devices. Currently, the Gear S2 only works with Samsung smartphones, and only the most recent ones at that.
The Samsung Gear S2 was first released in August of 2015, and is Samsung’s latest smartwatch release. Not only that, but it is Samsung’s first smartwatch with a round display, leading many to suggest that the device is one of the better-looking smartwatches on the market.
Smartwatch fans seem to be divided when it comes to design preferences. Some prefer a more modern look, of which the Apple Watch is the clear king. Some, however, suggest that they don’t want a tiny smartphone attached to their wrist, instead opting for a more classic “watch” look. At first glance, for example, the Samsung Gear S2 could be confused for any standard watch on the market. Over time, the Gear S2 has added more options, including premium bands, rose gold versions, and so on, further catering to the crowd that prefers a classic watch.
Of course, all this raises the question of compatibility. Google, in typical Google fashion, has opted to open up Android Wear to both Android and iOS devices, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Windows Phone compatibility too, provided Microsoft allows it. Apple, however, is on the other end of the spectrum, keeping the Apple Watch solely compatible with the iPhone. Samsung, it seems, sides somewhere in between, but may be more willing to open up the Gear lineup of device to other smartphones.
It’s not surprising that Apple is keeping the Apple Watch closed off. The company is known for its closed way of doing things. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Keeping total control allows the company to create an entire customer experience from start to finish. This is part of the reason Apple has retained such a premium feel over the years, something that is unlikely to change in the near future.
Would you consider picking up the Gear S2 over the Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments below.