Samsung breathes new life into the Galaxy Gear, offers optional update to Tizen

Samsung Galaxy Gear
Samsung has announced an update for the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but it’s not the usual bug fixes and a few new features, it’s an entire change of operating system. The new software replaces Android with Tizen, which Samsung uses on its more recent smartwatches, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo.

Interestingly, Samsung isn’t forcing this change on anyone, the update to Tizen is optional, so if you like the Android OS, you can keep it. However, it makes a strong case for updating in its press release. For a start, Samsung says you’ll gain access to more than 140 apps built especially for the Tizen watch, which is twice what’s available for the Gear at the moment.

Tizen is a (sort of) growing OS, with more developers jumping onboard each day. Samsung’s only just starting with Tizen, so it’s an effective way to keep your Galaxy Gear relevant.

The Galaxy Gear will also receive the Gear 2’s music player, which can play music stored on the watch through Bluetooth headphones without the need to interact with your phone at all. The Gear’s fitness tracking features will reportedly get better under Tizen’s guidance, with real-time walking, running, and cycling tracking, plus integration with Samsung’s S Health fitness app.

If you decide to upgrade, you’ll have to get used to a new interface, but it comes with more customization options, including wallpapers and a choice of icons. Finally — and perhaps reason alone to upgrade — the battery life should improve once Tizen is installed, although Samsung doesn’t say by how much. Be warned, the Tizen update is a one way street, and there’s no going back to Android once it has been applied.

Galaxy Gear owners will find the Tizen update inside Samsung’s Kies 3.0 software.

Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Outdoors

Need gift ideas? Here’s what to get the skiers and snowboarders in your life

You can't purchase snow, but you can grab your favorite skier or snowboarder some sweet gear this holiday season. We've hand-picked some of the best available that'll wow even the most well-equipped terrain park junkie we know.
Mobile

iOS jailbreak app store Cydia shuts down purchasing

For years, iOS users have been jailbreaking their devices to install software not approved by Apple. But now the popular app store alternative Cydia will no longer be accepting purchases.
News

Lawsuit alleges Apple falsely advertised the screen size of the iPhone X

A lawsuit alleges that Apple was dishonest in the way that it marketed the iPhone X. The lawsuit alleges that despite Apple's marketing campaign, the new iPhone is not in fact all screen because of the notch.
Business

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.
Mobile

Report: Samsung's upcoming foldable phone will cost a hefty $1,800

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Smart Home

Starbucks teams with Uber Eats for delivery from 2,000 of its U.S. stores

Starbucks has teamed up with Uber Eats to offer customers deliveries from almost a quarter of its stores in the U.S. The major expansion launches early next year, making life even easier for fans of the coffee giant.
Mobile

Huawei Nova 4 has a hole in the screen, and a 48-megapixel camera on the back

Huawei has launched the Nova 4, a new smartphone that has abandoned the screen notch and adopted a punch hole alternative, and also has a massive 48-megapixel camera. Here's what you need to know about the Nova 4.
Mobile

Black hole in the screen of Samsung's new Galaxy A8s has a camera inside

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.
Mobile

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.
Mobile

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.