The Samsung Galaxy Gear is somewhat limited out of the box, with a decent amount of functionality but a relatively small number of native apps. When you look at what powers the smartwatch, though – an 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM – it’s basically on par with a midrange Android smartphone from a couple of years ago, like the original LG Optimus series. That’s enough power to run most basic Android apps, and Ars Technica has hacked the watch to do just that.
Apparently hacking the Galaxy Gear is relatively simple. Just check off the “USB debug” toggle in the watch’s settings, hook it up to your computer via USB cable, and you can sideload apps onto it using ADB, the Android Debug Bridge. Though Ars Technica has still not been able to root the watch, it has successfully run a number of apps on it, including Candy Crush.
Without rooting the Galaxy Gear, you still can’t run any Google apps on it like Gmail or YouTube. And there’s no way for it to connect to the internet directly, so you can’t run apps like Netflix. But Ars Technica claims that Candy Crush was controllable on the tiny 1.6-inch touch screen after getting the hang of it, so if you own a Galaxy Gear, this is a neat little trick to add some extra apps within arm’s reach.
You can see the watch run Candy Crush and even play a clip from the last episode of Breaking Bad in the video below.