Will it be enough to tempt Apple users onto the Gear platform in an unpredictable smartwatch market?
Samsung has expanded iOS compatibility across its latest range of Gear wearable devices, including the Gear S2, Gear Fit2 and the recently-released Gear S3.
Users are now able to download both the Samsung Gear S and Gear Fit apps on compatible iOS devices, after which they will be guided through steps to complete pairing with the respective Samsung device.
Compatible devices include the following iPhones with iOS 9.0 and above: 5, 5S, 5C, 6, 6+, 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+ and the iPhone SE.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our offerings and we do this in part by listening to what our customers want – and that includes greater access to our cutting-edge wearable technologies with iOS support,” said Younghee Lee, executive vice president of global marketing, mobile communications at Samsung Electronics.
“By offering Android and iOS compatibility with our latest Gear devices, we’re giving users more ways to optimise their wearable experiences and connect to Samsung’s Galaxy of possibilities.”
iOS users will now be able to make use of a range of Samsung Gear features, including IP68 water and dust resistance and the built-in GPS, alti/barometer and Speedometer apps to track fitness metrics such as distance travelled, calories burned and heart rate.
The move is of course designed by Samsung to tempt users onto its wearable platform rather than losing them to the dominant Apple Watch, in a declining market which saw smartwatch sales dip dramatically in 2016.
But despite the uncertainty, vendors are still pushing forward in an attempt to revitalise the market. Google recently announced that Android Wear 2.0 will launch on two new smartwatches in 2017 and Fitbit acquired a range of Pebble assets towards the end of 2016 to help cement its position in the crowded wearables arena.
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