After an October debut with limited notification support, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch now supports many more app notifications thanks to a software update.
SamMobile reports the new software is available in the Samsung app store and also requires a new firmware update to the Galaxy Note 3 if you’re using that phone with the Gear:
“From standard texts and emails to notifications for your note-taking app or Twitter app, you can now enable or disable each individually from showing up on the watch (with the option to press a button to view the particular notification on your phone), and view a list of all notifications from a dedicated notification center.”
This update from Samsung follows a third-party app that expanded notification support. In mid-October, that app appeared on the XDA-Developers site, but won’t likely be needed now that Samsung has an official update to improve notifications on the Galaxy Gear.
One of the early criticisms of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear was limited notification support for non-Samsung apps. Samsung’s Email app worked with the Gear, for example, but Gmail did not: The watch would simply say that you received a message, meaning you’d have to look at your phone for the information. With improved support for a wider variety of notifications, this appears to be a non-issue now.
Even with the software improvement, I still find the $300 price to be too much for what the Galaxy Gear does. That factor, and the fact that it only works with Samsung devices doesn’t make it a must-have for most.