While being billed as a companion device to a Samsung Galaxy device, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch is built with some pretty impressive internals. There’s a 800MHz single core processor, 512MB of RAM as well as 4GB of storage – pretty much entry-level specs for Android devices. So it was only a matter of time before someone went beyond wondering if the Gear – which is based on Android 4.2.2 – could run full Android apps, to actually attempting it.
Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo managed just that, and as it turns out, you can indeed run real Android apps on the Gear. Surprisingly, one does not even need to root the device. As Amadeo demonstrates, all you need is the Android software development kit (SDK) installed on a PC, and connecting the Gear to the PC in USB Debug mode on. The Android Debug Bridge (ADB) will then allow users to open a command line, and from there sideload apps onto the Galaxy Gear.
Using this approach, the Gear’s 1.6-inch screen can function as any other Android smartphone, albeit shrunken down immensely. There are limitations, of course: there is no way to connect to the Internet, and Google’s suite of apps are not present. However, custom launchers will work too, as well as locally stored music and video playback – further unlocking the potential that the Galaxy Gear has beneath its simplistic software.
Check out the full demonstration and a video at the source link below.
(Source: Ars Technica)