Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear watches are now open to third-party support

February 27, 2014
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Accompanying the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Gear 2, Gear Neo, and Gear Fit, Samsung has also hosted a “Developer Day” at Mobile World Congress for 500 app developers, to announce three new and updated SDKs for its range of wearable technology.

First up is a new SDK for the Galaxy Gear 2 and Neo, which has been made public for the first time, that provides supports for tools and various APIs to create applications for Samsung’s smartwatches. This is especially important considering that the smartwatchres now run on Samsung’s new Tizen operating system. The obvious benefit here is that developers will now be able to create their own apps to complement Samsung’s first party software for the Gear 2 and Neo, which will give consumers a much more interesting set of choices.

Continuing with Samsung’s wearable technology, the Samsung Fit has its own separate SDK, although this appears to only be available to selected developers, for now at least. The companion UI Profile provides an emulator for wearable devices and various APIs to control the Gear Fit.

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Samsung’s S-Health software has also received some additional developer support. The new SDK opens up access to a lot more data collected from the sensors on the Galaxy S5, Gear 2 and Gear Fit, which could result in a wider range of apps and functionality.

“Samsung will continue to provide more comprehensive SDKs for our mobile devices and maintain collaborative relationships with development partners”. Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, head of the Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics

As well as all of the above, Samsung also introduced an upgraded Samsung Mobile SDK 1.5 to support the fingerprint scanning technology and motion-detection functionality in the Galaxy S5, as well as multi-screen technology for developing apps that can simultaneously operate on TV and mobile devices. In other words, expect to see a lot more apps in development for Samsung’s latest products in the near future.

Samsung is clearly taking a more developer friendly approach to its products, which can only help to strengthen the range of software available for its more niche platforms and wearable accessories. With Samsung adopting a more open platform, it will be interesting to see what innovative ideas third party developers can come up with.

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