Samsung has released its Gear S app on the iOS App Store to enable users with the Gear S2 and Gear S3 (Frontier and Classic) smartwatches, plus the Gear Fit app for the Fit2 band, to work with the iPhone and iPad. Both are available to download now, if you want to get started.
These new apps require iOS 9 or later, though are not device-specific, so if you’re still rocking an older iPhone, you are fine. It’s not a total surprise Samsung would do this, as the company announced it would support iOS when the Gear S3 was first introduced.
The step-by-step setup process is designed to be straightforward through the app for either device to pair via Bluetooth. If you already have one of them and want to switch over to an iPhone, it will require a factory reset to wipe everything clean. If you have data saved to your S Health profile in the cloud, then you don’t lose anything by resetting.
The same features are more or less included, so this isn’t a barebones iteration of either app, and the same tie-ins to S Health do apply. Given there is no standalone S Health app for iOS, its features and tracking are embedded in the Gear S and Gear Fit apps instead. Additionally, third-party app connections that would normally go through S Health aren’t available right now, which means that apps like Strava, RunKeeper and others won’t do anything. The Spotify integration that was lacking due to geo-restrictions (meaning not in Canada yet) also seems to be missing here too.
Samsung did warn that some features “will vary by device” to indicate the experience won’t be exactly the same on an iPhone. Without testing it, nor with a provided list, I can’t be entirely sure yet what those are, but will update this article once I can discern that.
Things like activity tracking, incoming notifications and supported app integration will still work here. For example, you can be working out wearing one of these and receive a text message that would show up on the device. You could use Uber through the Gear S2 or S3 too.
Note that this compatibility is between Samsung’s Tizen-based operating system used on the Gear S2, S3 and Fit2 and iOS, meaning Android isn’t a part of this in any way. Thus, just because a certain app might be compatible on Android with Samsung’s wearables, it may not be the case on iOS. Supported apps would have to be on Tizen as well.
Android Wear (now called Wear OS by Google) has been available on iOS for some time, and there too, the experience isn’t the same in that some apps or features won’t work the same way. We’ll see how Samsung expands on the Tizen-iOS mix moving forward. For the moment, the company hasn’t stated what might be coming in future updates.
You can check out the Gear S2, Gear S3 and Gear Fit2, all available now.