​Samsung wants to open up the Gear S2 to iPhone users, but that won't be so easy

Uncharacteristic displays of openness may be harder to implement
​Samsung could bring Gear S2 to iPhone

Samsung is looking to open up its new Gear S2 smartwatch for iOS users, a company spokesman has revealed.

Until the launch of the Gear S2, Samsung's smartwatches were exclusively for users of the company's smartphones. But the company has opened things up to users of Android 4.4 and newer – and now it seem like the company could take a leaf out of Android Wear's book and and create a companion app for iOS as well.

Essential reading: Best smartwatches to buy in 2015

"We are looking at possibilities to open it up to iOS. Because we opened it up to Android, we are looking at this," a spokesman told DigitalSpy.

We got hands on with the new Gear S2 at IFA last week, and it's certainly got the potential to be a huge hit for the company. Enabling wider Android users to use the smartwatch was a no-brainer, but it should be noted that the move to iPhone won't be so easy.

Firstly, it might not be technically possible – at least not without a major update. At the briefing Samsung revealed that due to some API issues, not all Android handsets are compatible, which could rule out iPhones altogether.

However, even if Samsung can overcome the technical challenges of getting its platform talking with iOS, it may fall foul of Apple's restrictions. Apple won't allow rival app stores on its platform, which suddenly impacts the 1,000 Tizen apps currently in the Gear S2's line-up.

Of course, the company could implement some kind of web interface, by-passing the iPhone altogether but for those wondering why Samsung can't just flip the iOS on-switch, it could take time to iron out these issues.

5 Comments

  • ChrisLaarman says:

    Even if if should be easy, I'm afraid that it's futile.

    Assuming that many people are like me (Are they?), users will eventually want to wear something useful on their wrists. Some filtered notifications and some simple output.

    In my opinion, every round watchface is a failure in this respect - and therefore this Samsung Gear 2 as well.

    • ChrisLaarman says:

      (This reply is to the incomplete version of my comment. I'd rather remove that.)

  • ChrisLaarman says:

    Even if if should be easy, I'm afraid that it's futile.

    Assuming that many people are like me (Are they?), users will eventually want to wear something useful on their wrists. Some filtered notifications and some simple output.

    In my opinion, every round watchface is a failure in this respect - and therefore this Samsung Gear 2 as well.

    I'd expect round-face smartwatches to compete with "dumbwatches" (however good chronographs), and bound for failure there, too.

    • j.stables says:

      Why have they failed in your opinion? Because the shape of the screen is unsuited to text?

      • ChrisLaarman says:

        In short: yes.

        I find a round screen unsuited for text, but flowing could resolve that.

        The real problem (as I see it) would be in the placement of controls and the representation of screens. The one that made the latter clear to me was the precipitation radar screen of a weather app on my Apple Watch, but that's not the only one.

        Generally, I think that it will be easier to fit circular information (control buttons included) in a rectangular screen than to fit rectangular information in a circular screen. (I can't scientifically prove that, but can anyone prove me the opposite?)  :-)

        Moreover, I'd expect software development kits to use orthogonal rather than polar coordinates.

        Looking at my watch: time will tell!  :-)

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