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When Samsung announced the Galaxy Gear at IFA in September, the compatability was limited to Samsung Galaxy devices and at that a limited selection, limited to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1(2014 Edition) initially, but they advised that an update would come soon to the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, and Galaxy Note II in October.

The rollout has begun for the Galaxy S4 – at least in Germany – but the other devices will be coming soon and Samsung has now extended the list of devices that will receive an update to be include compatibility with the newly launched Smartwatch. Samsung has advised that all variants of the Galaxy S4 will receive the update, including the Galaxy S4 Zoom, Galaxy S4 Active and Galaxy S4 Mini and they’ve added the two largest screen smartphones in their range the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3 to the list as well.

Samsung has noted that a full list of updates will be included in the update which carries the compatability software for these devices, and will include :

  • Samsung KNOX*, a secure and comprehensive mobile solution for enterprises and consumers. (*Galaxy S III 3G
    version will get Samsung KNOX with a platform security only in select countries.)
  • Smart Switch to seamlessly transfer content from other smartphones to Samsung devices.
  • HomeSync to store, share and enjoy content securely wherever you are.
  • Group Play 2.5 with shared video support.

Of course these updates will arrive on the international unlocked versions of the phones first with carriers still needing to approve the update before it’s rolled out to their phones. So far, Optus has updated their software update page with details on the 4.3 update arrival, advising December for the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy Note II and January for the Galaxy S III. Telstra has advised that they expect the Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy Note II in the next few days with availability to customers expected around late November. Vodafone has not added any information about the update.

It may take a while to get it, but it will arrive and Samsung should reap the benefits in additional sales of the Galaxy Gear by adding compatible handsets to the list.

Source: Samsung.
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I’m still not sure why they made the Gear a Samsung-only thing. It’s not that good that people would actually convert to a Samsung device to buy it. Maybe they’re expecting the first generation to be flawed and only want their existing brand-loyal user base to test it, as they’ll likely be more forgiving? Who knows.