The Samsung Developer Workshop came to London UK last week, and Anna Schaller (Sr. Manager, Developer Relations) and Wei Xiao (Technical Evangelist, Developer Relations) went through what it takes to get your application on the Tizen based Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch. There was plenty of drinks and pizza on hand for the developers to kick things off with, and thats always a good start. The event was organised by wip.
PART 01 - ￼￼￼Introduction and Consumer Device Walkthrough
PART 02 - Architecture of Two Devices
PART 03 - Development Environment
PART 04 - Developing for the Gear 2
PART 05 - Design
PART 06 - Tidbits and Recommendations
PART 07 - App Challenge 2014
The Gear Smartwatch was unveiled at IFA 2013, and launched at MWC 2014 with initial compatibility to only one device, the Samsung note 3, but the list of compatible devices has now grown to over 30 Android devices, and it will also be compatible the the Tizen Samsung Z, that will launch in Russia next month. Samsung has promised to open up the Gear 2 to other devices including iOS.
Initially the developers got taken through the user interface of the wearable device that they will be developing their applications for. This was the first time that many had seen the Gear 2 gesture based UI for themselves.
Gear 2 Specifications
Developers at the event were enthusiastic about what possibilities such a small device with a 1.0Ghz dual core Exynos processor can bring. Also having 512Mb RAM and 4Gb internal storage was slightly mouth watering.
The Gear manager uses the Samsung Accessory Protocol to communicate with Gear 2. It is used to unbundle the gear web app and push it to the device, and unbundle the apk and install it onto the Android device. All android applications that support notifications will show up in the notification list in the Gear manager application on your Android or Tizen Smartphone.
Many Devs were already using the eclipse IDE, so they didn't see the transition to the Tizen IDE which is also eclipse based being a huge hurdle for them. Now their Android apps could easily reach onto "your" wrist was a pleasant idea. They welcomed another store for them to show off their apps on, and actually have a chance to be found, and ultimately BOUGHT!
Samsung also gave away 5 Gear 2 Smartwatches, which the recipients definitely appreciated. Overall this was an excellent event and I hope we can continue on this momentum with the new Tizen Developer community.