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Samsung exec: Galaxy Gear support coming to Galaxy S4 next month

Right now if you want to use Samsung's new smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, you'll need a Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Tab 10.1 2014 Edition to go with it. That's because only those devices feature the built-in "Gear Manager" app that links with the watch. However, at the announcement event in Berlin earlier this month Samsung mentioned that other devices would be updated with Gear support in the future, and it seems we now have a rough timetable for that process.

Speaking at a press conference in Korea, Samsung's president of strategic marketing for mobile business, DJ Lee, told reporters to expect a Gear-enabling update on the Galaxy S4 by "next month," to be followed by Gear support for the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 by the end of December. Lee's comments were reported online by The Korea Times newspaper.

Of course we should note that this timeframe might not apply to all markets — and it's worth considering that this information was given at a Korean press conference, too. But at the very least it gives owners of unlocked S4s, S3s and Note 2s a rough timeframe to work with.

Source: The Korea Times (opens in new tab)

Alex Dobie
Alex Dobie

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Can we then infer from this that we will be getting the 4.3 update for the Note 2 by year end? A bit longer than I would have preferred but better late than never, right? Posted via Android Central App
  • That's what I read also. But with Samsung, 2013 Q4 can easily be 2014 Q2...
  • That also means Galaxy S III. I'm so glad I have a Nexus too. Posted from your Mom's closet.
  • I'd prefer that they just skip 4.3 and for straight to 4.4 for an update. 4.4 is going to be the big update anyways that will have all of android talking and wanting anyways.
  • I would say any update is a good thing, but this is probably icing on the cake. I don't like most types of icing.
    Couldn't they just make an app that works with the watch? I have no plans to buy the Gear.
    It would be better to have an update because they're supposed to do that, and have Gear support as a separate download. Posted via Android Central App
  • Like most things Samsung, either it relies on parts of Touchwiz or they programmed it to rely on it. Putting it out in the play store would result in tons of complaining from users of other phones.
    Bottom line is if your going to keep something on house, you don't leave it in the doorway Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone
  • perhaps not if Samsung was to issue it on Google Play then restrict its install option to authorised devices (Samsung Galaxy S and Note Series) - devices and markets are possible take TV Catchup its restricted to the UK and there also apps out there that are either for tablets or not for them. It be Samsung at least till need it to work with more of there devices or an change of heart such as Android wide or anyone but Apple which opens the gates wide to many a scenario such as Fire OS - Kindle and Blackberry 10 which both can or is able to run Android Apps along with Samsung OS Tizen and perhaps Windows Phone - including the fact Samsung a WP manufacturer as well!)
  • Couldn't Samsung just put the app on the play store and restrict it for select Samsung phones?
    I'm sure someone will come up with a way to use the galaxy gear with any android before Thanksgiving comes any ways.
  • Yeah but why bother when you can force people into the Samsung Galaxy? Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone
  • That Pricetag though!!!! I get it does some incredible stuff, but 3bills for the watch when the phone anywhere from 2-7bills!!! Cmon Samsung, this is a 100.00 watch tops. Bring the price down!
  • I can't wait! I'll buy it for my S4 as soon as its released. Posted via Android Central App
  • Same here!! Can't wait actually. It's funny to me how people act like Samsung is forcing people to buy the damn watch. All updates to me r better than none at all. Don't like it don't buy it. Posted via Android Central App
  • $150 would've been a great price for this.
  • So does this include support for the GS4 GPE?
  • +1 ^this AC do you know? Posted via Android Central App
  • Samsung ask your friends at Vodafone UK who do firmware for you (only good with carrier bloat is Vodafone firmware addition is a "helper application/hub" called "Updates" While the UI could do with some work it tells you what Vodafone applications such as "My Vodafone", 'Discover' and 'Help Login' etc if any is available to install (such as a good one or two i.e. My Vodafone), what is installed, has an update available, and (if wanted) a way to remove apps by them e.g. My Vodafone) in one place. Samsung you could do similar with cloning the principle with a place for all such as "S Suite" that helper app is only available to say Samsung Devices via Google Play so S Voice, Gear, Health, Wallet, Note, Planner, Keyboard etc people can choose what they install as Samsung probably have to go abit further and either install or offer Google versions of apps such as Calendar and Keyboard etc as well but it should mean with the device could be Google Play Edition or 'Touchwiz Launcher Lite' (including enhancements i.e 'move to SD' and Multi Window) that Samsung devices could aim for say perhaps Android 4.4 or later to theoretically behave like GPE (the core is updated like an Nexus but be "GPE with Benefits" - Touchwiz and S Suite apps such as Wallet can be enhanced at Samsung pace hopefully with less issues and quicker turnaround!
  • Man.. usually samsung nails it, but i feel like the f-ed up BAD with this gear. I wouldnt buy it even if i had a compatible phone, but the fact that its only compatible with a handful of samsung devices REEKS of apple. I dont buy Android to be locked into a specific OEM. If i wanted a walled garden i would own an IOS device and honestly have MUCH more to choose from (while within the walls anyway).
  • If Samsung gets the update to S3s by December, I'd consider buying a smart watch as a Christmas present for my dad. But I'm skeptical of update promises. Posted via Android Central App, HTC One
  • You can always sideload the gear manager apk from the Android sdk!