Samsung has released a new software update for its Tizen-based Gear S2 smartwatch that offers new fitness features, new control options for the Gear VR and powerpoint presentations, and more detailed daily morning weather forecasts. The company says the updates will make the three-year-old smartwatch more convenient to use. The software update also features what Samsung describes as a cleaner user interface so content can be viewed more easily, though we always found the S2’s bezel-controller UI to be its best feature.
The update adds a new App Shortcuts widget to the Gear S2, which automatically places your recently used and favorite apps in one place. You can now swipe down from any screen to access a quick panel, which displays settings like brightness, volume, and airplane mode.
The new fitness and health features include a multi-workout widget that lets you preset your favorite routine and set inactivity alerts. Like on the Apple Watch, the alerts remind you to get up and stretch when you’ve been sitting down for a while. When the Gear S2 is connected to the Samsung Health App, you can use its weight management feature that tracks your daily exercise and calories consumed as well as view your heart rate.
Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch was released back in 2015. At the time we liked its attractive design and display, but it lost marks in our review for slow and limited voice controls and the lack of available apps. Over the past few years Samsung has added more functionality to the Gear S2 including Samsung Pay, compatibility with iPhones, and Snoopy watch faces to name just a few enhancements.
The Gear S2’s software updates are available now, and you can download it through the Samsung Gear app.