Samsung’s new Gear Fit smartwatch, fitness band combo is a pretty impressive little device. If you’re interested in purchasing one, Samsung has already stated that its fitness tracker will work with 17 different Galaxy handsets, including the Galaxy S5. But what if you own a handset from a different manufacturer?
Ordinarily you’d be out of luck, although you could root the original Galaxy Gear, but fortunately the folks over at 9to5Google have found a workaround for Samsung’s smallest wearable. All you’ll need is a copy of the official Samsung Gear Fit Manager to side load onto your handset, with the Fitness with Gear apk installed as well. The downloads can be found here and here.
To install the apks, make sure that installing from “unknown sources” is checked in your handset’s security options. Once you’ve installed both the apks, launch the Gear Fit Manager on your smartphone, follow the steps, and pair your two devices via Bluetooth. Here you can also adjust the look of your Gear Fit and control which notifications work with the device via the “Notifications” section. Once paired, boot up the Fitness app from within the manager, ignore the fact that you can’t sign up for a Samsung Account, if you want to check out the fitness tracking features.
Now you are all good to go. However the quick reply notification function doesn’t appear to work correctly with non-Samsung handsets, although “show on device” and other notification functions seem to work fine. Any location based services also don’t work with this method, as they require specific Samsung services.
So far, the workaround has only been tested with HTC handsets running Android KitKat, but it should work with a range of other devices too. A word of caution though, your Gear Fit might require an update via a compatible Samsung device before it will work, so there’s no guarantee that you can just go out and buy a Gear Fit with the aim of running it alongside your HTC or Sony device. But if you happen to know someone with a Samsung handset who can update the Gear Fit for you, then this method should work fine.
Hopefully a more complete workaround will be found in the future.