At the start of the year, Samsung promised that its rather unique Gear S2 smartwatch would be be getting iOS compatibility sometimes “this year”. Considering there this year, like any other year, has 12 months, it was anyone’s guess when it would actually happen. Well, apparently, we can stop guessing. Verizon updated its support page for the Gear S2, detailing the update that will be rolling out for the smartwatch. And with it comes the almost nonchalant announcement of adding support for both iOS 8.4 and later as well as, curiously, Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
UPDATE: Not so fast! Verizon changes the text in the update.
“Our support page/change log for the Gear S2 software update included a reference about iOS compatibility but wanted to give you a heads up that the reference is being removed shortly. The bullet should not have been included on our end. Once the compatibility is available we’ll work with Samsung to announce it.” – Verizon Representative.
The Gear S2 is admittedly one of the more interesting smart timepieces that have come our way of late. Aside from not using Android Wear, which is normal for Samsung, it also sports a new control mechanism you won’t find in any other smartwatch in the market. Bezels around displays are often considered wasted space but, on the Gear S2, it is utilized for a control dial instead.
Google made Android Wear smartwatches work, to some extent, with iPhones way back in August last year, so you might see this as Samsung playing catch up. Given the Gear S2 runs on Tizen, however, it could still considered a significant achievement for the OEM. Verizon’s support page doesn’t really detail what will work with iOS and what won’t. For sure, Samsung Pay won’t, given how that it intimately tied to Samsung’s most recent flagships. But Apple’s support for third party accessories has always been minimal, as seen on Pebble and even Android Wear. In short, don’t expect full functionality compared to pairing with a Samsung smartphone.
Interestingly, the update also adds support for Android Marshmallow devices. Samsung hasn’t made any mention of compatibility problems with that version of Android, so it definitely comes as a surprise. Then again, there haven’t been many smartphones in the market with Android Marshmallow either.
Verizon hasn’t mentioned when the update for the Gear S2 will roll out exactly. Given the web page is up already, however, it could only mean “really soon now”.