They say, what's a smart device if you don't have apps?
Compatible with Samsung's 1.6-inch 320 x 320 OLED display, the 12 apps featured at launch for the Galaxy Gear offer information at a glance from a user's wrist. Samsung has racked up some big-name app developers to partner for the launch of the watch. The developers presumably don't want to miss out on what could be a hot device in a crowded space.
"Samsung is setting a very high bar for wearable technology with this stylised and incredibly functional device," said Bryan Trussel, co-founder and CEO of Glympse. "Location sharing is a natural fit with the watch and we are thrilled to partner with a smart, innovative company like Samsung to provide their users with Glympse location technology."
Noticeably absent from the list of supported apps are Facebook and Twitter. Before the Galaxy Gear was announced, the smartwatch was rumoured to include both services integrated into its OS. Obviously, that's not the case. But don't worry, the list of 12 apps is pretty solid.
First launched for Android handsets, Atooma executes actions when certain conditions occur, automating daily actions. For example, if you don't want to receive calls when your phone battery is about to die, Atooma will block them at your request. It's programming actions, without the actual programming. "If this then that."
Samsung and Atooma say the app will come to the Galaxy Gear to provide "a contextually aware horizontal intelligence platform that makes your Galaxy Gear smarter".
Banjo is for location junkies, allowing them to see what is happening anywhere in the world at a given time. Using social media, Banjo provides a perspective not available anywhere else, unless you were actually at the location.
Evernote may be one of the most popular on the list and one of the most useful for the Galaxy Gear. It allows users to capture, organise, and find information through web clippings, notes and photos. The Galaxy Gear app will use its camera to quickly capture images.
If you want to get really social, Glympse allows you to share location temporarily, privately, and in real-time, letting recipients see movements on a dynamic map. Given the Galaxy Gear will always be on your wrist, it could be useful (or not useful) so your friends or co-workers can know exactly where you are.
If you fancy buying something from your wrist, the eBay app will be included on the Gear. It will allow you to complete all your transactions on the online retailer with ease and in real-time. We're not exactly sure why you wouldn't want to do eBay actions from your smartphone, but in some cases we suppose a wrist would be convenient. Why not, right?
Line serves as a global messaging service available in more than 230 countries. Why you would want messaging on your wrist makes sense. When your friends, family, and co-workers try to get a hold of you, a quick glance of the wrist can yield an action to read or delete the message. We wish WhatsApp, another widely used messaging solution, offered support too.
MyFitnessPal may be one of the most ideal Galaxy Gear apps. It tracks your nutrition and exercise, letting you know if your daily workout is going as planned. Being able to key in information right from your wrist could be much easier than a smartphone, making the MyFitnessPal app for Galaxy Gear potentially useful.
Again for the social junkies, Path will use the camera app on the Gear to allow you to share images with your friend group on the social network. You'll also be able to browse your feeds to know what everyone is up to, right from your wrist.
"Path's intimate social graph lends itself perfectly to wearable devices like the Samsung Galaxy Gear, sharing only relevant notifications from the people who matter most," Dave Morin, CEO of Path, said. "Taking advantage of the built-in camera and touchscreen, Path on Galaxy Gear lets users to easily take photos, give feedback to friends, and post their location. We're excited to evolve the Path experience on this breakthrough wearable device as well as our partnership with Samsung."
You wouldn't want to read a long-form article on a 1.6-inch display, though Pocket will be there just in case. The Gear app can also save web content to view later on any device, if you found an article via Twitter that you want to call up later on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. That's not to mention the Pocket text-to-speech article playback feature that will too be available on the Galaxy Gear.
Fitness apps seem to be the bread and butter of smart watches. The Galaxy Gear isn't lacking, as along with MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper is available. It will help you track your daily routine, to know details about your runs, set goals, and stay motivated. We like to think about it is a personal trainer on your wrist - if you're into that sort-of thing.
Say you want to plan a trip from your wrist, TripIt will be there. Samsung and TripIt say you'll be able to organise travel plans in one place.
Vivino Wine Scanner
Samsung made the Vivino Wine Scanner app available on the Galaxy Gear for the wine junkies in the crowd. Using the Gear's built-in camera, the Vivino app allows you to take a photo of any wine bottle and know all about it instantly. The app says it can recognise 500,000 wines, tracking more than 538 grapes and 82,680 wineries.
We'll have a chance to play with the 12 featured Galaxy Gear apps when it launches on 25 September for $299. You can read our Galaxy Gear hands-on for all the details.