Samsung’s Galaxy Gear has seen a firmware update, giving it a bit more reason to exist. The change is aimed at helping connectivity, improving battery life, and increasing lag time for S Voice search. It’s a needed update, but still leaves the Gear far from the smartwatch in needs to be.
Most (if not all) smartwatches are struggling to find a place in the larger mindshare of consumers. The majority of people still don’t understand what they need a smartwatch for, and they’ve got a point. A recent report that a staggering 30% of Galaxy Gear devices purchased at Best Buy are coming back says something about the overall concept. Betweent hat and sales figures, the Galaxy Gear needed something more. The Gear needed an update, and got one.
Gear users can now wander a bit further from their Note 3 or Galaxy S4 with improved tethering, and the battery life is said to have been tweaked to give you a little more juice. Search has been improved, and should be faster, which is probably an affectation of improved connectivity. A cryptic “Your Gear's performance has been improved and its features have been enhanced” message also exists in the update log, but makes no specific mention of what that means. Android Central is reporting that the update also gives the ability to receive notifications outside of Samsung’s apps, but it takes some digging through settings to find out how that’s accomplished.
The Gear still isn’t the smartwatch we want it to be, but we’ve turned the corner on it. It’s much more a proof of concept than a consumer product, and the smartwatch genre itself is still finding its footing. It’s the snappiest looking wrist-wearable we’ve come across, but we still find favor elsewhere. With updates, we hope to have our minds changed about the Galaxy Gear soon.