By Alexandra Burlacu | May 02, 2014 05:23 AM EDT
The Samsung Gear Fit is theoretically compatible only with a handful of Samsung devices, but you can now pair it with other Android handsets as well.
The wearable technology market is rapidly expanding and is expected to continue growing this year, and Samsung has already got a foothold in this lucrative segment. After launching a Galaxy Gear smartwatch last year that was not very successful, Samsung this year introduced new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, as well as a Gear Fit wristband focused on fitness.
All three of Samsung's 2014 wearable gadgets can count your steps, measure your heart rate, display notifications from your handset, and more. A big drawback, however, is that they only work with a select number of Samsung devices.
According to a new comprehensive report from CNET, however, a workaround allows interested consumers to use the Gear Fit with other Android devices as well, not just Samsung-branded ones. Not all of the Gear Fit's features will work, but most of them will.
While this is by no means official, the Gear Fit apparently supports most recent smartphones such as the Nexus 5, HTC One M8, HTC One (2013), Moto X, and others. CNET notes that after careful testing, the workaround seems to work for any smartphone or tablet running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean or a newer version of the OS.
How to pair the Gear Fit with other Android devices
First of all, the Gear Fit needs a firmware update before you can proceed to use this method to pair it with other devices. In order to receive this update, you have to sync the smart fitness band with a supported Samsung smartphone or tablet. Once this is complete, proceed to download and install the Samsung Gear Fit Manager app on the Android device you would like to pair with the gadget. You can get this app by copying it from an existing Samsung device. To do so, you will also need to download a file manager from the Play Store.
The ES File Explorer app, for instance, is a reliable file manager that will make everything easier to handle. Simply open this app on your Samsung device, access the App Manager under the Tools menu, select the Gear Manager app and long press on it, then tap backup. For easier access afterward, save the APK file wherever you find it more convenient.
Another very important step before you can install the Gear Manager on your desired device is to go into the device's Settings menu, access the Security options and enable the "Unknown sources" option. This will allow you to install the Gear Fit Manager. Once the installation is complete, open the app and sync your device with the Samsung Gear Fit.
As previously mentioned, not all features of the Samsung Gear Fit will be available with this workaround. As expected, you will not be able to create or sign in to your Samsung account if you're pairing the Gear Fit with a non-Samsung device, nor use anything with location service. World clock and weather features will be unavailable as well, but you will be able to enjoy the basic features of the Gear Fit, such as tracking your steps, receiving notifications, measure your heart rate, and such.
Keep in mind that this is not an official method, it is a workaround and if you proceed with it, you do so at your own risk. The Gear Fit is not officially compatible with non-Samsung devices, but this doesn't mean you can't cheat your way in. It's also worth pointing out that this method only works for pairing the Gear Fit with other Android devices, but will not work for the Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo smartwatches. That said, if you have tried this method, drop by our comment section below and tell us how it all worked out.