Samsung Galaxy Gear can run sideloaded Android apps

Oct 9, 2013
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Samsung Galaxy Gear can run sideloaded Android apps

The Samsung Galaxy Gear is a nifty -- if not limited -- little gadget, supplementing one's smartphone with a bit of wearable convenience. The folks over at ars technica have given it a spin in a different way, however, sideloading regular Android apps onto it and finding it fairly capable of running them. Not all apps will run on the device, of course, but some of the lesser-demanding offerings can with a simple tweak.

This is achieved by heading into the Gear's settings and enabling the USB Debug mode, then connecting the device to a computer with its USB cable and the charging cradle. From there, one will need to nab the Android Debug Bridge, more commonly called the ADB, which is available from the Android SDK and is used to install the desired apps on the smartwatch.

Of course, one will need the app's APK on the computer to which the device is connected. Beyond Android apps, one is also able to use the same method for pushing music and video files, among others, onto the smartwatch. Whether the app of choice will run is another matter, with hardware limitations and the tiny screen size being the limiting factors involved. Even if an app will run, the display may be too small to adequately use it, such as Candy Crush visible in the image above.

The Galaxy Gear is equipped with an 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM, and beyond that the internal storage space is limiting in how many files one can carry around on his or her wrist. The limitations aren't crippling, however, and so if one finds cause to use a sideloaded app on the smartwatch, it can be done with either the on-board launcher, or a different one if desired. It is important to note that Internet access won't be available, so all work will be strictly offline.

VIA: Android Community


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