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Video shows regular Android apps running on the Galaxy Gear

by Mark Tyson on 11 October 2013, 12:45

Tags: Samsung (005935.KS), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), PC

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Tech enthusiast Ron Amadeo, a writer at Ars Technica, has published a video showing that the Samsung Galaxy Gear is a “pretty cool platform for hacking”. In the video Amadeo explains that the Galaxy Gear smartwatch is much more than just an Android accessory, it is an Android device running version 4.2.2 of the mobile operating system. To test its capabilities he hooked it up to a PC and pushed some regular Android apps over to it including such Play Store favourites as Candy Crush, MX Player and the Nova Launcher, which lets you navigate your watch with a more traditional Android interface.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear employs an 800MHz processor paired with 512MB of RAM. The screen is just 1.6-inch square with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels. It has 4GB of built-in storage and, as mentioned above, it is running Android 4.2.2. Apart from the screen that’s better spec than my first Android smartphone.

In the video Amadeo explains how to get regular Android apps onto the smartwatch. In the simplest terms you check the ‘USB Debug’ mode in the watch settings and then connect it to a PC to sideload apps. It is pointed out that without root access users can’t load up many Google apps such as Gmail and YouTube.

Other major problems with this early attempt to shoehorn regular Android apps onto the device include:

  • Widgets don’t work – cause crashes
  • No wallpaper
  • Biggest problem - no standalone internet access

Being more positive, Candy Crush “works well” but it’s tricky to match-3 when your fingertip is about a quarter the size of the screen area. The device was quite capable of serving as an MP3 player and also Amadeo demonstrated the smartwatch running MX Player watching an episode of Breaking Bad.

Tikker – The wrist watch that counts down your life!

In vaguely related news the Tikker – a watch that counts down your life – has leapfrogged its Kickstarter funding goal of $25,000 and, with a full three weeks left, has achieved $53,000 of pledges. The purpose of the watch is to help “make the world a better place” by reminding people to make every second of their lives count...

How does the Tikker work? Well, a Tikker purchaser fills in a life questionnaire and deducts his or her current age from the resulting figure. This is the figure from which Tikker begins its countdown. The Tikker team have been working on this concept for “over 2 years”, inspired by the founder’s idea of a ‘death watch’ following the passing of his grandfather.

You can secure a Tikker (in black only) for $38 plus $10 shipping if you reside outside the US. These watches are expected to be delivered by April 2014.

HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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What happens if your contract doesn't allow tethering?
Hmmm. Death watch is no good for any one who has 6 months to live now as it not out yet ! Not a thing I'd buy…

I like the idea of the watch but no wall paper makes it kind of useless, if you could get an app that would use different watch faces & dials would be good !
Hmmm. Death watch is no good for any one who has 6 months to live now as it not out yet ! Not a thing I'd buy…
It reminds me horribly of that quite old Jasper Carrott routine where he works out how long he's got to live … and finally works out he died a week ago. :)

Of course my second thought is that the stress of looking at that bl**dy thing will probably stress you out that you end up dying early. In which case can your relatives sue for not predicting that earlier death? (Not in the UK I'll be bound, but perhaps in the US).
You'd need pretty small fingers to play candy crush on that screen
well it only works for people who have small fingers to enjoy this gadget that they won't even last a year because they will get bored using this.