Samsung's Gear S2 smartwatch is already near the top of the smartwatch heap, and keeps on getting better and better. Those looking for raw features will be glad to know that an update coming in the very near future will bring a ton of them, including the coveted and much-requested ability to seek out and download apps for the watch without ever having to reach for your phone. Gear S2 users will see a number of other features, like enhancements to S Voice, using your own photos to customize the watch, and a clock face that changes color depending on the time of day or night to reduce eye strain and save battery life.
The Galaxy Apps store is now fully functional on the Gear S2, allowing users to browse through a selection of apps for the watch and download the ones they want without ever having to pick up the phone that they've paired the watch with. This also opens up a swath of new functions that people who used the watch as their sole device with a SIM card were missing out on. The selection of apps is not all-inclusive, but the essentials are mostly all there. There does not seem to be a way to search for apps, leaving users to swipe through the ones on offer. If you have a phone paired to the watch, however, a new button instantly opens the app store on the phone.
Along with a more consistent, flatter and more colorful design, globetrotting users or those with friends abroad will be pleasantly surprised to find that their world clock face changes color depending on the time of day; black at night, and white during the day. This saves on battery power and reduces eye strain a bit when using the watch. Users can also forego the standard watch faces and those found in the app store to use their own photos. Up to 10 images can be used, and the watch will cycle them with each wake up. The weather app now includes UV index information, and the watch now bears a separate app for contacts. Rounding out the update, which should be headed out in the next few weeks, is the ability to manage notifications when there are none in your queue to read.