Samsung has packed some interesting ammo for its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch, including some big-name apps to help lure consumers to its device.
The watch debuted with 70 applications, and while Samsung only highlighted a few during its launch demo, the apps -- from companies like Evernote, Path, and even eBay -- could prove a major draw.
Although Sony's SmartWatch 2, which came out in June, boasts more than 200 apps, there aren't a lot of brand-name applications among the offerings. The Galaxy Gear, on the other hand, hits the smartwatch sweet spot with fitness, social media, and productivity apps created by its selected partners. Most of these apps will be ready for download when the smartwatch becomes available for sale on September 25.
Here are a few apps that Samsung spotlighted on Thursday:
Fitness apps are like a natural fit for wearable devices, so it's not surprising these are on the Galaxy Gear. MyFitnessPal users will be able to monitor goal progress, scan and log calories with the Gear's camera, and track activity using the pedometer, according to a blog post from MyFitnessPal. Similarly, the RunKeeper app tracks time, pace, and distance, and provides audio cues.
Glympse, Banjo, Life360
Real-time location technology is another area that fits well with wearable devices. Companies like Glympse, Banjo, and Life360 are all apps that track your location and that of your friends, alerting you if a pal is close by or letting you track where your friends have been. Glympse called Gear's integration a "huge validation for location technology." Banjo, which groups user posts by location, said it will also feature a live stream of photos from social events as they happen, and share photos to Facebook or Twitter through Gear.
Getting auction notifications through your smartwatch? Yup. The eBay app will let users complete all their transactions in real time, according to eBay. The app's notifications will let you know if you've won an item, the status of your bid, and if an item has sold.
While Evernote highlighted its integration with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy Gear's phone pairing, it doesn't mention its specific function on the Gear. The Note 3 integration includes instant note synchronization and an increased monthly storage capacity for notes. Given the Gear's unique ability to take photos, there may be some room for an Evernote photo-capture feature.
The constant notification of social media feeds are readily available on every other device, so why not the Gear? Social media apps will no doubt utilize the notifications and the quick sharing of images taken with the Gear's camera. In addition to notifications, Path has said its app will let users share photos, give feedback to contacts, and post their location "in seconds."
Gear users will be able to scan their top 10 personalized news headlines through Zite, according to the news reader app. With Pocket, the app will , leaving the user hands-free for driving.
Atooma is an automation app that lets users set up formulas for actions. The company hasn't said how its app will function on Gear specifically, but it could prove useful for a device with such little surface space. For example, if you link Atooma to your cloud storage account, you can set it up so photos taken by a device's camera will automatically upload to the cloud. EasilyDo is a digital assistant that will send notifications for appointments, events, e-mails, commute updates, and boarding-pass information through Gear.
TripIt said it's the first travel app joining Gear's app offerings. The app will let users access flight, hotel, and trip details and even share plans with a friend -- all from their wrists.