Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Side-loading Android apps to the Galaxy Gear is as easy as using ADB

Thanks to the presence of USB debugging mode on the Samsung Galaxy Gear, it's actually possible to side-load full Android apps using ADB. Keep reading to learn more!

Published onOctober 9, 2013

samsung galaxy gear aa 20

Wearable devices might be the future, but for Samsung, the Galaxy Gear isn’t exactly taking the world by storm. The biggest problems for the Gear are that the device suffers from a somewhat laggy UI, a limited app selection and restrictions that come with being nothing more than a “companion device”.

At the heart of the Gear though, we find a reasonably capable Android device that is largely limited due to less-than-perfect software (which will hopefully improve with time). Is there are way to improve this situation right now? Actually with a little ‘hacking’, you can bring over some of your favorite Android apps to the Galaxy Gear.

As shown off by Ars Technica, side-loading apps to the Galaxy Gear isn’t particularly difficult. All you need to do is enable USB debugging in the settings, hook up to a computer and use Android Debug Bridge to side-load to your heart’s content.

The tiny 1.63-inch display with a resolution of just 320 x 320 might make some apps a little difficult to navigate, but the 800MHz CPU and 512MB of RAM should at least be enough to run most Android apps without too much trouble. Ars Technica found that apps like Nova Launcher worked fine on the Gear and even games like Candy Crush were able to run, even if using the display proved somewhat frustrating.

The real magic here is in side-loading your multimedia to the Gear and using 3rd party multimedia apps. There’s likely a few other productivity apps or basic games that could come in handy on the Gear as well.

Unfortunately, you won’t be using side-loading to bring the power of Internet-enabled apps to the Gear. Due to the way Samsung’s smart watch works, Internet browsers and online-connected apps are unable to access the web.

In the end, side-loading might not be a perfect experience with the Gear, but for those of us who are tinkers by nature, it could still be a lot of fun. To try side-loading apps with the Galaxy Gear, simple head on over to Ars Technica for further instructions on how to get the job done.

You might like