It’s always an exciting event when new mobile hardware is released. However, there’s always the slight feeling of dread that owners of the previous generation of hardware feel when they know their beloved device is officially outdated. Samsung has a history of helping these customers out by porting some features from newer hardware to older devices and the Gear S2 smartwatch is the latest example.
Samsung has announced a software update for the Gear S2 that is currently rolling out. Called the ‘Value Pack Update’, the software brings some features from the Gear S3 to the previous generation device. Gear S2 owners will now have access to all the pre-loaded Gear S3 watch faces. New apps will be available as well such as the Alti-Barometer, useful for tracking outdoor activities and air pressure, and the Reminders app, for managing to-do lists and reminders. The Gear S2 is receiving additional functionality for the bezel as well. Users will now be able to twist clockwise to answer calls or acknowledge alerts and twist counterclockwise to dismiss calls and/or alerts.
The Gear S2 will also be getting ‘Handwriting Mode’, allowing users to write messages on the screen without waiting for them to be translated to text. Handwriting Mode will support Chinese, Korean and English characters. Users will also be able to choose from 180 emoji or dictate messages using voice input. S Voice has also been improved and will now process commands in real time.
Activity tracking via S Health has also been improved. The Gear S2 will be able to automatically recognize and track activities such as running, walking, cycling, and elliptical machine use. Other repetition-based exercises such as lunges, crunches and squats will be recognized as well with the Gear S2 keeping track of reps. An ‘Auto Pause’ feature has been added for when the user needs to take a breather with tracking resuming once exercise starts up again. ‘Pace Coaching’ helps users meet cardio goals with voice prompts and the ‘Stretching Guide’ will prompt users through a series of simple stretches if the device detects the user has been inactive for an extended period of time.
The Gear S2 will be receiving support for more widgets including third-party apps such as Yelp, Uber and USA Today. The weather widget has been improved with access to conditions in multiple cities as well as more in-depth details.
New safety features have been also been added. When the user presses the crown button three times, the Gear S2 will send out an alert message to designated parties with the exact location of the device using the Glympse location-sharing app.
The Gear S2 will also be able to access a number of games via the Galaxy App store. Users can kill time with simple games such as Stack or Monster Vampire.
Samsung has done an excellent job of bringing new software to older devices, helping to extend their product life cycles. The Gear S2 is receiving a plethora of new features which should keep owners happy. Check out the source link below for more details.