Samsung Gear 2 to bask in third-party apps' glow

Samsung Galaxy Gear
Samsung opens up the new Gear 2

Samsung is opening Gear 2 development up to third-party app developers, the company announced during Unpacked 5 at MWC 2014.

Samsung's David Park took the stage to talk about the new smartwatch and revealed that Samsung will release the Gear 2 software development kit into the wild.

The Gear 2 has been designed to solve many of the original Gear's biggest flaws, and opening app development up to third parties could help immensely.

"Developers around the world can easily create exciting new apps," Park said. He added that some of the new apps that have already been designed for Gear 2 focus on health and fitness, lifestyle, social, commerce and entertainment.

Making connections

In addition, Gear 2 will be able connect with 17 different devices, a big improvement from the first Gear limited number of compatible phones and tablets.

"Gear 2 was developed as part of our long-term vision for an ecosystem of devices to enhance the lives of our users," Park said. "As our mobile devices become extensions of ourselves, they need to support more of our life goals, with the No. 1 goal staying fit."

Park focused on five areas of improvement when discussing the Gear 2: "smart" design and style, an "extended ecosystem," "more choices," better battery life (up to three days), and water and dust resistance.

The new version has swappable straps, since the wiring is now fully contained inside the watch itself.

It also has a new home button, "like the ones that we have on our smartphones," Park said. And Gear 2 can even control your TV, thanks to a built-in IR blaster.

Read TechRadar's hands-on Samsung Gear 2 review for details on all the new improvements, and keep checking TechRadar for all the latest news out of MWC 2014!

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.