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Samsung Galaxy Gear might work with non-Galaxy devices in the future

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Last updated: September 6th, 2013 at 20:50 UTC+02:00

Samsung unveiled the much-awaited Galaxy Gear smartwatch at IFA in Berlin, but also made the disappointing announcement that it would only be compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 at launch, with the Galaxy S3 and S4 getting support later on with updates to Android 4.3. However, Samsung has revealed that in the future, it is possible non-Galaxy smartphones might be able to use the companion smartwatch as well.

“Right now the specific APIs and functionality are tied to the Galaxy Note 3. For obvious reasons we are looking for additional devices to support it,” Samsung director of product marketing Ryan Bidan said. “We will announce those when they come, but right now it is Galaxy Note 3 specific.”

While dependency on some TouchWiz features is also a possible case for the incompatibility with other devices right now, the biggest issue is the lack of Android 4.3 on any devices other than Nexus devices. The Galaxy Gear uses the low-energy (LE) mode of Bluetooth 4.0 to conserve battery life, something which Android doesn’t support on versions before 4.3, so until manufacturers put the latest version of Android on their devices, Samsung won’t be able to do much about the matter.

Of course, Samsung could also come forth later and say compatibility with non-Galaxy devices isn’t possible, but for now, if you own one of those, don’t lose hope of being able to use the Galaxy Gear someday without needing to carry around a 5.7-inch phablet.

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