The Galaxy Gear is in a rough spot, straggling the fine line between a next frontier device and a totally eccentric and somewhat unjustifiable piece of hardware, like the Galaxy Round. But even if the sales and reception are, unsurprisingly, low, that won’t be stopping Android developers from taking full advantage of the smartwatch’s capabilities. And that all starts with a full custom ROM.

Recent reports put sales of the Galaxy Gear at rather disappointing numbers. Despite what Samsung itself might be saying, many believe that the Korean company knows that it is just putting out a very expensive public beta of the device, with a more polished version already in the works for next year. There is no denying that the smartwatch, in its current incarnation and with the current software, is quite limited, even with the possibility of sideloading some Android apps on it. Even the latest update didn’t significantly improve the device.

There might still be some hope, however, that comes with the availability of the first custom ROM designed for the Galaxy Gear. XDA developer fOmey created this ROM based on a relatively less known MK7 ROM. Simply called “null”, the ROM brings in a notable number of features that potentially makes the Galaxy Gear a bit more interesting. First and foremost, it allows the installation of other launchers, and in fact Nova Launcher comes by default, and native Android apps. But it also allows Bluetooth tethering, making it possible to browse the Web on the smartwatch, provided your smartphone and data plan allow it. Nonetheless, the device is, of course, still limited by hardware and physical constraints.

Given that the number of actual owners of a Galaxy Gear is relatively few and that those willing to flash custom ROMs on it are probably even fewer, it remains to be seen whether this ROM will have any positive impact on perception of the device. However, those who own one and are already suspecting Samsung’s abandonment of the public prototype soon, the null custom ROM provides them with a bit of a fallback in the future.

VIA: XDA Developers



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