Samsung Electronics is providing a useful new option that allows consumers to customize the appearance of their Gear S2 even more: the Gear S2 Band Adapter. With the Band Adapter, now the Gear S2 is compatible with standard 20mm watch straps, including the Gear S2 classic strap, greatly expanding the options users have for personalizing their wearable.
Available in both dark gray and silver, the lightweight stainless steel adapters are strong and durable, fitting seamlessly onto the Gear S2, giving the device a wider range of looks, including leather, metal and ceramic.
Currently the Gear S2 Band Adapter is on sale in Germany, Singapore and South Africa, but is soon expanding to more countries around the world.
Samsung’s Gear S2 and Gear S2 classic smartwatches have gained popularity for their combination of cutting-edge functionality, rotating bezel interface and wide range of customizable looks. Since the launch last October, Samsung and its partners have provideda variety of fashionable straps, with hundreds of different watch faces that users can choose from.
We reported a few days ago that Gear S2 iOS support is likely to arrive via an update later this month. It was back in December last year when we exclusively confirmed that Samsung has started working on a Gear Manager app for iOS and in January this year Samsung officially confirmed that the Gear S2 will get iOS support in 2016.
Verizon has updated its support page for the Gear S2 to show that an update will be arriving for the smartwatch tomorrow which will bring a fix for a random clock freeze as well as support for iOS and Marshmallow. Software version R730VVRU1BPC1 is what Verizon will release for the Gear S2 and it will enable the smartwatch to be paired with iPhones running iOS 8.4 or later. It remains to be seen if this particular update widely rolls out tomorrow or if Verizon is breaking from tradition and is actually being rather quick about releasing updates.
The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) revolution is no longer limited to the world of arts and crafts. From cars to clothes and even smart device user interfaces, the DIY method can be applied to just about anything you care to mention. It is often a perfect means of adding a touch of your own personality to something.
In response to this trend, Samsung has developed the Gear Watch Designer—a program that allows you to make your own unique watch face. It is easy to use and requires neither expert knowledge nor coding skills.
Five of the Gear Watch Designer’s key developers explained more about what makes the program “tick.”
DIY Watch Faces Made Easy with the Gear Watch Designer
Previously, non-developer Gear S2 users were not able to personalize watch faces based on their unique preferences, much less share their designs with others.
But the introduction of the Gear Watch designer has changed that.
“In the beginning, we intended to create the Gear Watch Designer as a utility program to help developers. But as we progressed, the general consensus was that it would be better to make a designer-oriented program,” said Young Jae Min, Senior Designer of the UX team.
As a result, the team developed the Gear Watch Designer to allow designers to better express themselves, even if they lacked development expertise.
The Gear S2 maximizes customization, so that users can directly configure its hardware or software, and edit functions according to their tastes. And the Gear Watch Designer only enhances these customization features yet further.
With the program, you can easily add and arrange calendar, heart rate or daily fitness information directly to the watch face, for example.
You can also fully express yourself by customizing the index, hour hand, minute hand and second hand in the colors and styles just as you desire, all the while checking to ensure the designs function properly as you edit them.
It has only been a short few months since the Gear Watch Designer was launched as a beta version, in December last year on the Samsung Developers website. However, a number of users have already since shared their own unique watch face creations with the Gear Watch Designer’s online community.
“In the beginning, we intended to make the program simple. However, over the course of its development, it has become more complex as the team has diversified its ideas,” said Moo Chang Kim, Senior Engineer of the Tizen R&D Team.
This rather unique development process, in which the team constantly and collectively brainstorms and shares ideas, has allowed the Gear Watch Designer to advance consistently and in a multitude of ways.
“It has been interesting to gradually expand this project by incorporating our ideas,” explained Hyung Jo Yoon, Senior Engineer of the Tizen R&D Team. “It was a refreshing and novel experience to be able to share ideas between multiple departments in pursuit of a single goal.”
Boundless Creative Potential
While anyone can use the Gear Watch Designer to make their own watch face, graphic designers in particular can let their creativity run wild by using their own images as part of the program. As such, the team focused on making the Gear Watch Designer as user-friendly as possible so that designers could use it with great ease.
However, as the developers were not all designers themselves, they explain that they found it difficult to find flaws and limitations in the program before they actually launched the beta version.
“We actively encouraged designers to start use the program when it reached the 60-70 percent completion mark,” explained Sang Min Jung, Senior Engineer of the Tizen R&D Team. “We then proceeded to hold contests internally, through which we were able to improve the tool based on employee feedback.”
Thanks to feedback and regular inter-departmental brainstorming sessions, the Gear Watch Designer soon developed into a more complete experience.
As a result, the program now boasts a number of familiar tools specifically aimed at designers, such as animation functions and graphic interfaces. Even more useful functions will be added in the future in the form of updates.
Both experienced graphic designers and keen amateurs can use the Gear Watch Designer with ease, a fact that has led to more and more people sharing their watch face designs online. In fact, some of the most popular of the paid watch faces available were created using the Gear Watch Designer.
“The Gear Watch Designer has allowed for some significant developments, allowing designers to directly create an end product without the help of developers,” said Sang Hyun Park, Principal Designer of the UX design. “As a UX designer, it’s rewarding to design for the product itself. It’s also very meaningful to be able to create tools that encourage other designers in different fields to create their own designs.”
On March 11, Samsung hosted a workshop at the California College of Arts, UCLA, focusing on watch face design using the Gear Watch Designer. Around 30 design students participated in the event, creating their own unique watch faces using the program.
The team will also showcase the program’s various functions at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC), to be held from April 26 to 28 in San Francisco, California.
Samsung had unveiled its flagship smartphones for 2016 – the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge – last month. Shortly after the unveiling, the company started sending out review units to press and media around the world. Instead of sending just the Galaxy S7, Samsung Poland sent out complete Galaxy S7 ‘test boxes’ to reviewers. So, what do these test boxes contain? Let’s have a look!
The Galaxy S7 test box is a premium leather-wrapped briefcase with a big Samsung logo. It contains four devices: a Galaxy S7, a Gear S2 classic, a Gear VR, and Level On Wireless headphones. All these devices are one of the best in their categories, and it would be a dream come true for any Samsung enthusiasts to own this test box. Would you be interested in buying such a premium package if Samsung decides to sell them to general consumers?
The Gear S2 is certainly the best smartwatch that Samsung has ever created. It looks great and is very versatile and adaptable to user preferences. The bands can easily be swapped out allowing users to pair it with their outfits or just change up their style from time to time. Samsung has now introduced a ceramic bracelet for the Gear S2 which is very stylish, to say the least.
The ceramic bracelet for the Gear S2 is listed on Samsung France’s website. It’s distinguished by its design, strength and material and provides a balance between comfort and style. Samsung has developed this bracelet with hypoallergenic materials so it’s perfect for users who are sensitive to certain types of materials. It features an invisible clasp buckle which discreetly holds the watch in place on your wrist. This new accessory for the Gear S2 hasn’t been spotted elsewhere as yet but it’s quite likely that Samsung will introduce it in other markets soon.
We announced earlier that Samsung has unveiled the Gear S2Rose Gold and Platinum models in the US at Amazon, but Dutch customers have had their hands (or wrists, rather) on these new luxury Gear S2 models for some time. For those customers, and for those to come, Samsung has released a new update for the Gear S2, bringing two new watch faces, one each for ladies and gentlemen. These new watch faces are only for Samsung’s Special Edition Gear S2 models, according to the update, so this may be a limited rollout for customers who’ve purchased either the Gear S2 Classic Rose Gold or the Gear S2 Classic Platinum. The Gear S2 update brings the build number to BOL6 from the former AOKK and weighs 23.16MB in size. Alongside of the new watch faces, Samsung has improved the S Health UX for measuring heart rate.
We’re glad to see Samsung push out additional watchfaces that enhance customization for these customers, but we’re anxiously awaiting the release of a new update that brings even more watchfaces for regular and special editions alike.
The update is rolling out to both the regular and classic Gear S2.
AT&T has announced that it’s bringing back its Christmas promotions for a limited time, customers who opt to purchase a handset from the second largest wireless network in the United States will receive a free Samsung devices under this promotion which is available to the carrier’s consumer and business customers.
Customers who purchase a new Galaxy handset from the carrier on its AT&T Next plan will receive a free Galaxy Tab 4 8.0, those who don’t purchase the smartphone on AT&T Next will receive the Gear S2 smartwatch instead. The deal is even better for business customers who can purchase two smartphones like the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Active, for the price of one, they will only have to pay tax on both phones at sale and make payments on the first device while AT&T gives them up to $650 in 30 monthly bill credits.
Samsung Electronics America, official mobile sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival, is sparking VR storytelling at the Samsung Studio, the go-to venue for filmmakers, content developers, industry influencers and more to connect, learn and share experiences, all through the lens of the latest Samsung products and services, including the new Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus.
“One of the biggest trends and themes for 2016 is virtual reality. At Samsung, we are making VR more accessible by partnering with the best in the industry to deliver a growing library of engaging, rich content for our Gear VR which is all made possible by our latest Galaxy devices,” said Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer at Samsung Electronics America. “We are excited to engage with the creative community at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to collaborate and amplify viewpoints, content and new technological advancements as we continue to cultivate development in the VR community.”
There are many opportunities for Festivalgoes to meet and interact at the Samsung Studio. Here is a sampling of what’s in store.
Unique programming at Samsung Studio
The team from Funny Or Die joins Samsung to debut the world premiere of the first-ever virtual reality comedy short, “Interrogation” featuring comedians Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel. Discussions will highlight how Gear VR is empowering comedic storytelling in new, immersive ways.
Samsung Studio will also treat Festivalgoers to interactive filmmaker panels with Deadline, BMI, Broadcast Music, Inc. and Funny Or Die, among other programming to be announced.
GONE Returns from Holiday Hiatus
At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Samsung, in collaboration with Skybound Entertainment and Wevr, will unveil the latest cluster of episodes from Samsung’s original thriller “GONE.” During December 2015, “GONE Episode #1: Pilgrim” quickly rose to be the number one most viewed piece of content on the service, with viewers quickly gravitating towards the “exploratory video” technology unique to the series.
Gear Indie Challenge Results
In an effort to nurture emerging and independent VR filmmakers, Samsung recently conducted the Gear Indie “There in 60 Seconds” contest, challenging filmmakers to transport viewers to a place that is special and unique in 60 seconds or less. At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, details on the winning entries will be unveiled, with the winning content available to enjoy on Samsung Gear VR.
New Frontier Mobile VR Content Coming to Samsung Gear VR
Gear VR will be the way to watch the New Frontier Program’s Mobile VR content stemming from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Attendees will be able to experience the innovative works of ground-breaking artists who work in new media technology and get a glimpse of how the VR medium is used to immerse the viewer and take storytelling to a new dimension.
Living the Galaxy Life to the Fullest at Samsung Studio
At the Samsung Studio, Galaxy owners can enjoy premium services with the Gear S2 Concierge, offering priority restaurant reservations and complimentary Uber rides – all ordered from Samsung’s newest smartwatch, the Gear S2. Festivalgoers will also be able to use Samsung Pay – the official mobile payment of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival – at the Studio’s café, which will feature menu items from Salt Lake City’s own, “The Rose Establishment.”
More Information about Samsung at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival
Visitors to the Samsung Studio will have access to the Sundance Film Festival Selfie, and will experience the brand’s full range of product innovations including the Gear VR, Galaxy View, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy Tab S2, Gear S2, SUHD TVs and home appliances. The Samsung Studio will be located at 638 Park Avenue and will be open from January 22 – January 26, 2016.
For additional information and the full list of panel details, please visit the 2016 Sundance Film Festival schedule at sundance.org/festival.
After Samsung unveiled the Gear S2 and the Gear VR wearable devices last year, they were made available in the European markets as well as in the US. We were doubtful about the availability of these devices in India, especially the Gear S2 since the original Gear S didn’t sell well in the country.
It looks like Samsung is all geared up to launch these wearables in India this month. According to PhoneRadar, Samsung will launch the Tizen-powered Gear S2 smartwatch in India along with the Gear VR later this month, and we can confirm that the company has been developing Gear S2 firmware for the Indian market, so it is possible that the report might be true.
Samsung recently announced its plans to launch the dual-SIM variant of the Galaxy Note 5 in the country after looking at increasing demand for mid-range smartphones with two SIM card slots. The company might also launch the Galaxy A (2016) series of smartphones in India in the coming weeks.
You may look at the Gear S2 in all its well-designed beauty and think, “it can’t get any better than this,” but you’d be wrong. Specifically, you’d be wrong about the Gear S2: it can get better than its beautiful design. Why? Well, buried within the Gear S2 is a feature that all other smartwatch makers should emulate. It lies within Samsung’s own pre-installed smartwatch apps, and it’s called Auto HR (or Auto Heart Rate).
What is Auto HR? It is a feature within Samsung’s own pre-installed apps that allows you to set up the frequency with which the device monitors and records your heart rate automatically (without you touching the screen for each heart rate monitoring event). Unlike smartwatches of the past (and the present) that still rely on you to monitor your heart rate manually, Samsung’s Gear S2 allows you to “set it and forget it” when it comes to heart rate monitoring: you need set it once and let Auto HR do it’s thing.
Here’s how to set up Auto HR on your Gear S2:
Find Samsung’s S-Health app in your apps list and select it.
Once inside S-Health, scroll over until you see S-Health settings. Select the icon beneath the word (“settings”).
You’ll see Auto HR beneath “step target” and above “Alert.” Select it to set up your Auto HR.
As for frequency, you can choose between three options: 1) Frequent, 2) Moderate, and 3) Off. Select between frequent and moderate.
Once you make your decision, swipe your way out of the app or press the bottom side button to return to your watch face. That’s it!
Now, your Gear S2 will monitor your heart rate based on your frequency selection. You can still do it yourself, but it’ll be easier to keep up your exercise without frequently checking your wrist or tapping on the display when you’re active.