Develop Apps for Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit

on February 27, 2014
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Wearables. Wearables. Wearables. At the MWC 2014, people could not seem to get enough of Samsung wearables, Samsung Gear 2 & Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit. There might have been some people who were expecting to see the next version of the Gear, but there probably weren’t that many people who were expecting to see three new versions of Samsung Gear. If you think about how the Samsung Galaxy S series started with Samsung Galaxy S back in 2010, it is definitely exciting that the Gear already has 4 models under its belt. Although we know that there are plenty of things to talk about with the fresh and new Gear 2s and Gear Fit, what we want to talk about today is its compatibility and its new market for apps.


When the original Gear first came out last year at IFA 2013, although it was a shocking tech gadget itself, it was introduced sort of like a complementary device to Galaxy Note 3. However, eventually, the Gear became compatible with up to 11 devices, such as the Galaxy S4, within a few months. There are still no other products like it, and many people have been wondering when they can use their smartphones with the Gear.


Then at Samsung Unpacked 2014 at the MWC 2014, Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit was announced. Now one of the biggest questions for people is, again, their compatibility. First, Samsung Gear, as of now, is compatible with 17 different mobile devices.


Considering we are looking at a very promising future for the wearable market, the compatibility of the Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and the Samsung Gear Fit is a very ambitious statement. Just by taking a look at some of the partners announced for the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit at the MWC 2014 gives you a pretty exciting idea of the kinds of things we can do with the Samsung wearable lineup.



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So this begs the question, “What about Apps?” The software development kit (SDK) of the original Gear was not available to the public. However, with the launch of the two Gear 2s and Gear Fit, the Gear SDK has also been announced.


The Gear SDK is a Tizen based Wearable Platform, and therefore is very developer friendly. One thing about the developer community is that they are very unselfish and caring. Developers in the open source community are not only known for being experienced, intelligent and motivated, but also very helpful to fellow developers, which is why the functionality and stability of the platform can continuously improve. Developers can also utilize the Samsung API and W3C standard Web API to develop Gear apps. As a result, apps developed by these kinds of quality developers are certainly great news for future Gear 2 owners.


One other good thing about the Gear SDK is the variety of tools and functions that you can use it with. For example, developers can create web functionality using HTML5 and CSS. It includes WebKit, a layout engine designed to enable web browsers to render web pages and provides a runtime for web applications. Gear SDK also provides motion API, sensor API, context related API, and multimedia API.


In the case of the Gear 2, it is paired with a host device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Therefore, applications also consist of 2 parts. Applications for the host are developed under the Android, whereas applications for the Gear 2 are developed under the web-based platform. The communication of the two applications can be enabled through the Samsung Accessory Package of Samsung Mobile SDK.


There is another wearable we need to talk about, Gear Fit. Gear Fit is another type of Samsung wearable device with the Curved Super AMOLED Display. It is not only light, but it is also fits very well on the wrist. Moreover, Gear wristbands are switchable, so that people can go with the style they want. It has a heart rate monitor, which can help people to be more health conscious. Also with the instant and simple notifications, it will be easier for users to manage personal communications. Creating a fertile developing environment and apps will get the best out of these characteristics of the Gear Fit.


Gear Fit includes a sensor hub, which uses remarkably little power, and a sensor that can detect health-related information. Naturally, with a sensor hub,


For tool kits, it has released the Gear Fit SDK for Gear Fit exclusive apps. The major difference between Gear 2 SDK and the Gear Fit SDK is that Gear 2 apps can be standalone apps developed through Web platforms, whereas Gear Fit would require 2 different kinds of app and Android OS. 


More specifically, a Gear Fit app needs to have a host app for the device that needs to be developed with Android and Gear Fit exclusive, whereas Gear Fit SDK has two parts: the host app and the CUP (Companion UI Profile) browser. Gear Fit SDK allows you to easily control wearable devices (CUP browser) by using android device (Host) which is connected in the Bluetooth environment. The host of Gear Fit SDK has two elements: API that can controls 12 different kinds of widgets through CUP Browser and the Host application developed by the developers with the Gear Fit SDK.


CUP Browser consists of Service for Gear Fit, which receives the command then translates, and the Widget of Gear Fit, which receives the translation to display it on the screen then transfer the UI event to the CUP Host. There are about 12 kinds of CUP widget and Samsung plans to increase the number.


Just the fact that finally the availability of the right tool kits to develop apps for all the Samsung Gear fans should excite many developers. Wearable market is a growing market and it looks like Gear users will grow as well. If you are a developer, everything points to one direction, SDKs for the Gear lineup.



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