Galaxy Gear

Samsung's smart watch just got a lot smarter

In tandem with a small firmware update a few days ago for the Samsung Galaxy Gear, an update to the Gear Manager app has enabled "real" notifications from any application to be read right on the Galaxy Gear itself. If you recall (if not see our review), the Gear shipped with one very big reason not to want to use it — for most applications the notification you received simply told you to check your phone.

Yeah, that sucked.

Having to take out your phone and open the notification sort of negated the advantage of having the notification sent to your wrist. It made the Gear something we just couldn't recommend anyone buy without an update to address this. 

Now that update is here. Without users having to install any sort of hack or third party programs, you can now see what you need to see, and it's all user-definable. We're going to have a look at how it all works, and hopefully update our review and recommendation of Samsung's smart watch.

To get the new update, open the Gear Manager app on your phone and you'll be directed to download the latest version from the Samsung app store.

Source: SamMobile


Reader comments

Samsung Galaxy Gear manager app update brings rich notifications from any app to the Gear


Just updated my ATT s4 to 4.3. I did not see the gear settings? Did this update enable the s4's use with galaxy gear?

Sent from my bada$$ Nexus 5

Hi, I bought the Gear Watch & Galaxy Note3 the same day. Charged up both devices & downloaded Gear Manager. It all synced together. Today, I just did an update for the Gear Manager. Question I have for you or anyone out there.....when you take a picture. BTW, pictures came out fairly good considering it came from a watch. But how do you transfer the picture to either your Note 3 or to any other site. My 'share' button does not lit up, so was wondering what was wrong with the watch.
I love both devices. A xmas present from me to me.

Gramma The Techie...

Georgia Mark

Update. I just saw in the forums it does work but you must download another app from Samsung to set up the gear on the S4. Santa, are you listening?

Sent from my bada$$ Nexus 5

how about let me know when it's available for any other device then just the galaxy line, oh wait it's not even available to be used with the Gnex, slight failure there if you ask me, but reason enough i won't be buying one, i'll just wait for google to bring one out.

I couldn't find the Pebble watch anywhere in Canada. Don't know why. Anyhow, like I said earlier got the Gear watch & the Note3. Great devices. But you folks are going to laugh at ole Gramma. After I charged the watch. I put it on and thought to myself. Geez this watch is huge. Little did I realize that I had the charger on top of my watch (making the watch look ever larger. The screen is already big. But with the charger on top of it made it look even larger. Had a chuckle over that!!!!

If anyone has a solution to how to transfer the pics to your phone. Please send me the instructions. Thx.

It works only with Samsung's TW-ed proprietary stuffs. Simple as that. They make use of 'S-Voice' and other samsung software in the Gear. No wonder it won't work with other phones.

why would i upgrade, it runs perfect, and is rooted, which means i'll get 4.4 one way or another, lol, but if i do anytime it'll be the N5 hands down.

Galaxy Nexus is old bro... you might as well be using a Zach Morris Motorola phone.

Time to upgrade man!

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Not everyone upgrades every two years or less. Especially if they have a Nexus, which stays up-to-date for so long.

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.

Are people still talking about the damn GNex? Give it a rest. You paid 3 something over two years ago bit you want them to keep giving you support. They pay salaries every two weeks and other monthly expenses. If they support your old phone they couldn't afford to operate!

Posted via Android Central App via the shiny new Nexus 5 and a half

Were talking about Samsung here. They could probably afford anything but acquiring Apple or Google.

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.

Watch Sammy make this available to other devices when Google watch come out

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If the update enabled watch to make me breakfast then I would consider it until then even tho I have note 3 sim free I think it's way to much in uk by £100 or more!

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I agree far to expensive perhaps if they didnt include the pointless camera then it would then be cheaper and at a better price point, as it stands no chance £150 max.

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This watch works fantastic. People are not giving it a fair chance. At first it only worked with the Stock Samsung apps which is what I used and was very happy. Now it works with everything. This is the best built watch and IMO it looks pretty sweet. Have it in black with my black Note 3. Great package and once you have it set up the way you want it the watch becomes 2nd nature. I leave my Note 3 in my truck and inside a construction site with the watch set on vibrate I don't miss any notifications or calls. Throw in the camera and it is a no brainer to me. Buy it, you will be happy.

Yeah $300 is quite crazy. I would have thought there would have been a deal for people getting the Note 3. Knock $100 or more so dollars off it to get the phone and watch package. I don't know why Samsung didn't do that.

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Hi there - Best Buy did have a special. I got $100 off the watch and paid $200 for the Note3. Granted, yes, I did get a 2 year contract with a provider. Traded in my iPhone5 which was only 9 months old at the time. Yes had to dish out funds for that, but prefer the Samsung Galaxy Note3 over the iPhone 5 for sure. Rogers had another special $49 for the watch but I think you had to dish out for the Note3. New technology is the way to go. Loving the phone & watch. Finally realized that the pictures eventually get downloaded to your computer via Google +, so that is cool. I only share pics with family & friends so far. Haven't chosen to share to the world ...


I would say it's been given a pretty fair chance, the criticisms are very valid.
1. It only works with limited devices.
2. The notifications were horribly borked (since fixed).
3. "I really want a poor quality camera on my watch." Said no one. Ever.
4. smart watches require two hands to do EVERYTHING. (This isn't GG specific obviously).
5. $300 is just absurd.

Other criticisms are more subjective or occasional. Being ugly or too bulky is a matter of personal taste, but there's a good case to be made for that. The battery life is also poor and the fact that the watch doesn't ALWAYS show the time makes it not much of a watch. The wrist flick usually works, but not always. And when other smart watches don't have that issue, it stands out.

All things obvious apart from 1 point. How is that Apple never criticized for iMessage/iWork/iOS being used only for Apple devices?

Samsung creates a product, and they specifically says that it will only work with GS3, GS4, GN2 and GN3 (flagship devices). What's wrong with that? These phones cover more than 100 million of units sold. So what is wrong with compatibility with only Samsung phones? Optimizing for a small section of devices will obviously yield much better result.
BTW, I am not sure how would S-Voice work on other devices to interact with Gear.

I love it too! Just send me the instructions on how to send a pic back to my phone or send it to FB. My 'share' button doesn't light up. Everything else works great on the Gear watch. I get so many compliments on the phone & watch. Kudos to Samsung for making such great products.
I traded my iPhone5 in for this new phone....Happy customer!

My phone was down in the basement office and I was in my kitchen upstairs, when a notification came through from my daughter. Tapped the watch and lo and behold. Her message came through. Luv new technology!

You know what they should add on the galaxy gear knock on aka double tap screen to show the time.

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So, you want a good screen, and a screen to be ON 24/7 and a batterylife of 1 week? And you want it to be within $149??
Anything more we missed?

Exactly what I was thinking!!! I think people feel like they have to complain about something... Damn, it's not a bad watch. If u can't afford it then don't buy it. I think it's a well made watch that will only get better. I love mine.

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Why? When wearing the watch and you turn your wrist to look at time screen turns on automatically then times out for how ever many seconds you set it for

Agree .... amazing to me that all the negative reviews come from people that either never used it or just played with it in the store. How many reviews written showed pictures of the device that was tethered to the store display. I've had the watch for about 3 weeks and while it took me some time to become accustomed to it I find it a great time saver. In my work I receive constant email and text that I must review immediately, the watch keeps me from digging the phone out of my pocket 200 times a day. Battery life I find great, my work days generally exceed 16 hrs and all the time receiving extensive notifications, at the end of the night I've never had less than 70%. The camera i'm never going to use for family photos but I find it great for quick pic's of things I need to follow up on, kind of a personal "post-it" or for things I find interesting ... and the quality is really pretty good. The voice memo is also a favorite of mine that allows me to make quick note for later follow up. Many people complaining about the price and I have to ask .... when was the last time you spent less than $300 for a good watch? Not to mention a watch that does everything that this one does

Agreed, most of the complaints are comming from people that are just jelous that they dont have one. I for one think the gear is awesome and a camera in a watch it takes pretty good pictures..loving it soo far

Anyone in canada getting the update yet for the watch. I still haven't got it in western canada

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Many are valid objections and fair opinions, i havnt used it, but its at the wrong price point, yes no one can expect watch on 24/7 and get great battery life, oh wait casio digital they are always on devices, so yes it can be done and to expect battery life that lasts a week perhaps 2-3 without charge now that would then adding value.

Ok give or take as you will be using other features. Oh and get rid of that pointless camera wdf there is just no need.

As far as styling bar that camera its the best on market. Many will be happy with it and i would be if it had better battery life, that camera was no more and at £150 maximum, just look at Sony and pebble hmmm now i am a Samsung user and am more than happy with there products eg S3, S4, Note 3, Mega, ones that i have owned.

But this is just not right, great for those that contest this and i say enjoy, but i will patiantly wait for a product that is viable.

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I have the Verizon S4 i545 and never could find the Samsung app store on my device. I only had the hub.

No update via the gear manager so what I ended up doing is...

Load with the default browser (not chrome etc...) and you will see an option to install the samsung app store (make sure you have install from unknown sources selected). This is how I was able to update my gear manager without having to wait for it to be pushed.

What in the blue hell is the current Gear firmware version? The gear software manager updated on my S4 today. However, I am only able to receive certain updates. I connected the Gear to Kies and it says I have the current version (V700XXUAMII). I've read here and several other places the Gear received a firmware update "a few days ago" but I cannot for the life of me find the damned version number. I still have to use the phone to actually read FB, Twitter, Etc.

As far as the battery life issue...Ive had mine for a week and I've only charged it three times. Yes I am using much as the firmware will allow.

Posted via Android Central App

Article could have mentioned something about the Gear firmware update only being available in the UK...

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I've spent the last 2 hours trying to figure out how I missed a firmware update and resetting my Gear twice, and this update is UK only!?!?! I've read 3 articles on this, and not one of them mentioned this. Any word on a US update?

Regarding the price point.. This might be useful to potential buyers in the UK.

I just purchased a Note 3 on the Three network for no up front fee, unlimited data and a "free" black gear for £37 a month. This was with Carphone Warehouse. I think the offer is via the website only.

Seemed like a decent deal. Using the phone now but the wife has hidden the watch for an extra Christmas present!

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Anyone facing issue with the latest update. It seems that every time I run the gear manager it uninstall feedly app. Kindly weird problem

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Same problem for me ...\YES .. I've been having to re-install (and re-setup) Feedly 1-2x per day! Never realized it was Samsung's fault. What a weird issue!

Great article, but leaving out the UK only fact was a major omission. A lot of readers come here first to get their "scoop" on Android devices. Wasted a lot of folks time.

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I dont get the camera critizism. The camera on the Gear isnt meant for taking high quality panorama shots of scenic lookouts. The front-facing low resolution camera on your smartphone isnt either...Thats what the camera on the back of your smartphone is for.

The Gear's camera and most other functions on the smartwatch are based on quick convenience and utility. For example, you want to take a quick pic of a movie schedule at the theater before grabbing dinner...or you want to snap a pic of a phone number on a sign you see while driving...The Gear is perfect for getting that quick pic in matter of 2-3 seconds when thats all the time you can manage...

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Just bought the Gear when I saw the new firmware update. I have the GN3, downloaded the latest Gear Manager but can't get the new firmware update to apply. I've been scouring all the forums but it seems that I'll have to do some time of Odin Sideloading nonsense. I'm a power user but I hate do all of this Black Arts type of stuff.

I got tired of waiting for the new firmware and researched on XDA how to update the firmware ..... it was really easy; 5 minutes tops once I downloaded everything. Makes a huge difference!

Got my new galaxy gear for christmas and loving it..synced right up with my gs3 (must have at least 4.3), everything is working taken from watch automatically go straight to phone, get full notifications with new gear update, can read my emails, facebook messages, and even get notified when i receive a new snap chat, little steep on price but worth it..

By coincidence, I just discovered the Gear Manager was running secretly in the background, when I was checking why the YouTube app was lagging heavily ... With a +105 Mbit WiFi connection (@ ~2m/7ft) linked to a 1 Gbit cable it shouldn't ... Have not seen the app before, despite looking around the hole system. I didn't even know about the existence of the SG Gear ... but there are other Samsung apps that occasionally starts hidden without any notice and any obvious reason ...

Edit: Also just discovered that my router rebooted by itself 45 minutes ago according to the log. No description why ...