LIVE FROM IFA 2015: Samsung showcased its Gear S2 smartwatch at a dedicated event here last night, while also teasing a new product set for an October unveiling.
The company publicly released tools to enable developers to produce apps targeting the device. This follows an early access programme, which saw more than 1,000 Gear S2 apps produced, on top of the 5,000 apps already available to Samsung smartwatch users.
The new wearable features enhanced standalone capabilities, with an integrated 3G version to be made available which does not need a companion smartphone (albeit in limited regions, at least initially).
“The 3G version is a standalone device. It no longer needs the phone in your pocket. And we were able to make it surprisingly thin and light because it comes with a preinstalled e-SIM,” Pranav Mistry, global VP for research at Samsung, said.
Developers will be able to create apps with network, call and location-based APIs, with the ability to connect to 3G networks without a smartphone.
Also new is support for connectivity with all Android phones, enabling it to appeal to customers beyond Samsung device owners.
“We humbly know that we can’t do it alone. Together, we can remove barriers. That is why the Gear S2 is compatible with other Android devices. Of course, all of these features do work better with one of the Galaxy phones,” Younghee Lee, EVP of global marketing for IT & Mobile at Samsung Electronics, said.
And developers can also produce both native Tizen and Web apps using the new tools.
Separately, Samsung said it is working with Italian designer Alessandro Mendini to offer exclusive accessories for the smartwatch, including watch faces and bands.
Galaxy View teaser
Samsung ended the event with a short video teasing a new product called Galaxy View, promising more details in October.
Promising “a whole new mobile viewing experience for a new generation”, the device appears to be a large-screen tablet with integrated stand.
Samsung previously revealed some details of Gear S2 in a teaser, at the launch of its Note 5 and Galaxy Edge+ devices.