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 β the Gear S2, a round faced, many modelled anti-Apple Watch β 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 β or at least respects β 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 β 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.