Samsung Gear S2 3G and Tizen System

Lately I purchased a Samsung Gear S2 (AT&T) online. I have been looking at this watch for a while, and it recently lowers its price. What is really cool is that, comparing with its WiFi version (and other smartwatches), Samsung Gear S2 3G is the only one supporting number calling and messaging. That says, it has a sim card and a speaker on the watch.

Some people may say, well, who wants calling using a watch? That's true. It will look weird if we talk to a watch. The true valuable thing is the connectivity. When we are outside we do not expect to have Free WiFi around always, and having an embedded sim card with internet connectivity saves lots of troubles. Here I am only talking about taking a smartwatch outside. A smartphone may or may not be carried around. For example, although I also have a Sony Smartwatch 3, which is also awesome, I cannot sync and get any notifications while I am running outside. It bothers me a bit since I could miss important messages etc.

I love Samsung Gear S2 3G because of its capabilities. But after using it for couple days I also feel a little disappointed. Yes it works with Android and gets notifications just like what happened on my Sony Smartwatch 3, but the truly supported apps are too few. Getting into the Samsung App Store, it is not even close to Google's Play Store, from UI to touch response to app qualities to app numbers. So why the system has been out for so long but developers do not really push the efforts there?

Driven by the question, I started some investigations in Tizen IDE and how to develop a native app for Tizen system. First thing is the Tizen IDE is slow and looks cheap. It seems like an incomplete tool when we create a project from an app example. Errors pop up frequently from no where and yet the app can be successfully compiled/built if you ignore the errors. That makes me feel uncomfortable.

Second thing I find is actually very interesting, but at the same time worth worrying. Unlike Android using Java or C to write apps, Tizen supports HTML5 + Javascripts. Well, indeed using HTML and JS does ease the process towards an app, but they cannot really do what we want using Java or C. The app is pretty much a webpage, and does not provide any guarantees in the programming efficiency.

Also, we cannot use traditional Android ADB to communicate with the watch. Recall that Tizen is a new system based on Linux. So Samsung provides a tool called SDB for command line communications. SDB.. lol

Anyway, we might need to dig a little bit more to see how we can use JS and HTML to access smartwatch's sensors. No matter what, I am sort of seeing why developers rarely come to the Tizen platform:

  1. Difficult developing tools
  2. Not-even-a-true-programming-language developing language

Oh, btw, Samsung even has different app selling stores for developers. One is for phone and another is for wearables. That is hilarious and hard to understand...

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