Samsung Gear 360 Manager App Ported to Other Devices

Gear 360 MWC AH 1

With the increasing popularity of Virtual Reality, production of 360-degree videos has also skyrocketed, with popular sites like YouTube training people to produce 360-degree videos and use the required equipment. It has been popularized by the launch of 360-degree cameras being able to stitch the videos natively without any additional software, by Samsung and LG. The tiny camera developed by Samsung, named Samsung Gear 360 can shoot impressive 4K 360 degree videos at 30 fps. But this hot new piece of technology has a glaring limitation. The Samsung Gear 360 manager app, required to control the camera is only available to Samsung smartphones. This limitation implies that non-Samsung devices will not be able to use the camera at all.

Finally, a prominent XDA Developers forum member has come to the rescue, developing an unofficial port of the app which is compatible with all devices. According to the forum post, device lock has been removed from the app, allowing anyone with to download the APK file from XDA and install it to control the camera with a phone from any manufacturer, albeit with a few conditions. To install the ported app, the device must be running Android Lollipop or higher as the app depends on API level 21. The Samsung Accessory Services must also be installed to the device. It is available in the Google Play Store and it comes preinstalled on Samsung phones.


The other major advantage of this port is being able to able to forcefully shoot 4K videos and not have them downgraded to 2K. Earlier, this feature was only restricted to the flagship Samsung Galaxy S7, and all other phones had the video downgraded automatically to 2K, causing a lot of frustration among users. The last update to the port uploaded by developer Bin4ry was on 20th June 2016 and contains a lot of bug fixes, including the ability to shoot and stitch longer 4K videos. The port is available in two versions, the forced 4K, and the forced 2K version, with links in the forum post.

As reported in the forum, there are a few bugs still prevailing in the unofficial port of the app. One of the more prominent bugs is the Samsung Accessory force closing from time to time, and the device taking a long time to process 4K videos more than 10 seconds. The latter is more a limitation of the device hardware, in which case the developer recommends using the 2K version.