The Gear S2 needs more apps or it will fail like every other Samsung smartwatch

Samsung's latest watch needs to make sure it fits into our lives

Samsung isn't selling smartwatches in a serious way yet. For a long time, that was because it didn't have the right device. Now, it's because the right device – the Gear S2, a round faced, many modelled anti-Apple Watch – needs more apps. Strike that. I don't mean any old apps. It needs apps that make the Samsung smartwatch more useful, more delightful and more of an essential part of its wearers' every day lives.

That starts with Samsung. Where is Samsung Pay on the Gear S2 for the UK, Europe and China? It's already available in the US and South Korea, but the rest of us are waiting to be able to pay for groceries or buses with our smartwatches. "Coming soon" has been the answer for a while.

Even Samsung's own SmartThings app for the Gear S2, which works with the already available SmartThings hub, hasn't appeared on its app store yet.

Which incidentally you can't view online; you can only access it through the Gear app once the watch is paired. Funny that.

Read this: The best Samsung Gear S2 apps (so far)

When I first slapped a first-gen Galaxy Gear on my wrist, I honestly didn't think Samsung would get to the stage where pretty much everyone loves – or at least respects – this idea of what a smartwatch should be, for its clever but simple rotating bezel controls; bold, bright display; battery life; different options in terms of both style and specs.

Samsung has done a lot of the hard work in creating a "mainstream smartwatch" but it now needs to look to Apple (10,000 Watch apps), Google (4,000 Android Wear apps) and Pebble, and how each of those companies has built up a bonafide developer community over a number of years.

Take the Gear VR headset, even, as another example of a device that's bold and new but just keeps getting better thanks to new apps and games. Through its partnership with Oculus, the app store is actually in pretty good shape but it has taken time and money and momentum.

The few quality apps we have used on the Gear S2 work wonderfully – the new addition of Uber, for instance. We recently updated our slim list of Gear S2 apps worth downloading but Snoopy watch faces and little else just isn't going to cut it. To start with, we need more health and fitness apps (the ones millions of us actually use), chat and messaging apps for the 3G model (ditto) and smart home control apps that fit into our everyday lives.

Over on XDA Developers, the talk in early 2016 has turned to topics such as how Android Wear apps could be easily ported over to Tizen, or even how to get Android running on the Gear S2. In other words, Gear S2 fans are getting desperate.

The absolute worst thing Samsung could do in the first half of 2016 is release another goddamned smartwatch. After many, many, many attempts, it has managed to build a stylish, easy to use, everyday wearable.

Now it needs to beg, borrow or steal some decent Gear S2 apps.

What do you think?

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  • yogibimbi·

    Betamax, meet Tizen. Tizen, meet Betamax. Yeah, it sucks, I know.

    "Now it needs to beg, borrow or steal some decent Gear S2 apps". Or, you know, switch to an OS that already has a thriving ecosystem and stop with the proprietary shenanigans.

  • floopie·

    give me a Gear S2 running Android Wear.   i'd pay $$ for that.  T

  • zzz159·

    It has been several months now, I am still waiting for that gear s2 smartthing app that was mentioned in Samsung's press release...

    Samsung own both the Gear S2 and Smartthing, what is the excuse?

  • swordedge·

    Don't know if it will have even a shred of impact but Tizen 3.0 has been ported to  the Raspberry Pi. Since my quick search revealed someone doing this last April, probably no.  However, the stories in the last day or so say Samsung is doing this.  This is what is needed to spur porting apps.

  • Larrywr400·

    Just bought my Gear S2 two days ago, I Love the look and interface but the lack of Apps may have me going back to Best buy for an exchange.

    • Aesthet_journey·

      Im on the same boat here.

  • Jq1801·

    uumm where is the US has samsung pay on the S2, I'd like to know been waiting for it since November

    • Jmt55·

      Waiting for the same thing plus some more apps for the love of God I don't need any more watch faces I want some functionality.

  • ArtisanVaper·

    "It's already available in the US and South Korea, but the rest of us . . . ."

    Where are you getting your facts from? Because I haven't been able to find Samsung Pay on the S2 anywhere I've looked here in the U.S..

  • ssshake·

    seriously have you guys tried android wear? Holy garbage. I just bought a moto 360 from best buy because i wanted to try it out, I was worried that with the limited apps on the s2 (which I own and love) that I'm missing out. I couldnt put the android wear back in the box soon enough. Not only was the hardware bad (which might be limited to the moto 360), the android wear software is just pure crap in comparison. Also I didnt see a whole lot of apps that I'm actually missing out on. I've only owned my gear s2 for a week an I'm blown away by how great it is. It's a good fitness watch, media controller, the notifications work good. And the watch faces are beautiful. The screen is just great which is a lot more than can be said for the moto 360 (gen 2).

    • YoungTravels·

      I don't find myself missing out at all. Most apps are meant for the phone... there's no need for thousands of apps for a watch..

  • Vmorris91·

    Honestly if the Gear S2 had a stand-alone spotify app that I would be in heaven. That is the only thing truly missing for me. And I gotta think it would not be something difficult for them to accomplish.

    • SleepyBear·

      and facebook notification and messenger and viber   :)

  • laura19646·

    I agree 100% - feeling so disappointed in my $500 dollar purchase! It has little Samsung widgets but doesn't connect to the mainstream apps, even the ones that advertised they partnered with (and then did not.  And then did not advertise that they changed their mind). Samsung the new blackberry? Its like they put out a design and forgot about it. Somethings should be easy, like automatic sleep tracking - if it has motion and heartrate, which it does, why can't they have an app for that? Why is s health just an app, with no computer program or website to do advanced stuff (like every other wareable has?) Why can't you connect more things to s health? Why can't the watch use other fitness apps? Frustrated.