Galaxy Gear firmware update improves notifications, again


Galaxy Gear owners have been eagerly anticipating today’s release. Samsung’s updated the software to MK7 and with it we get “better notifications from non-Samsung apps” said AndroidCentral. The Galaxy Gear, one of the first commercially if not technically successful smartwatches, received a lot of rightfully deserved slack for its lazy notification system. So what will the MK7 update do for Gear users? We’ve got the full list of changes below.

  • Improved range and connection: Samsung says the Gear can now stray a little farther from the phone before losing its connection. That’s good — it felt pretty short before. The automatic connection feature has been improved as well.
  • Improved battery life. Again, that addresses one of the chief complaints about the Gear. We’ll have to see how much longer it lasts.
  • S Voice search should be faster.
  • “Your Gear’s performance has been improved and its features have been enhanced.” Whatever that means.

Our favourite is the Gmail update and users can now read the body of an email, including sender and subject details. What we still need to see in action is the improved battery life. The Gear is saddled with a pathetic 315mAh battery, which equates to eight hours of battery life, if that. Hopefully the update can sort this power management issue out.

Only one wrinkle: for those who can’t manage an over-the-air (OTA) update with the Gear Manager App, they’ll have to fall back on Kies, Samsung’s propriety update software to install the new device software. As Samsung owners, best of luck getting Kies to update or even load without crashing.

We reviewed the Galaxy Gear and found it to be lacking in a few areas, especially its notifications. When a watch sends notifications to notify us about notifications on another device, frustration tends to set in.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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