Samsung Gear Fit, or « hardware obsoleted by software »

Samsung Gear FitFollowing a hint given by someone a few days ago during the Bulgarian Web Summit, I was quite shocked to discover this morning that my Samsung Gear Fit is obsolete, software-wise. The Gear Fit was released with the Samsung S5 a year ago, on the 11th of April 2014. Although a bit limited and even buggy, it's a pretty interesting device partly because of its very peculiar form factor. It was said to work only with a few Samsung devices, but many people succeeded using it with all sorts of Android devices. I wish I could use it with my iPhone but that's unfortunately not an option.

The Gear Fit has a few downloadable extensions, based on a SDK also released a year ago. The fact extra apps can be created and maintained is a very important indicator of not only the market success of a given device, but also of the obsolescence of the device.

That SDK is not available any more from http://developer.samsung.com, as it is confirmed here. And it's not a very recent change. Samsung then turned obsolete - because of software - a hardware they released less than a year ago. From a customer's perspective (again, I bought that device), that's pretty shocking.

The Samsung Gear Fit is still available everywhere here in France, from Orange stores to supermarkets. But it's a dead duck without a SDK. Don't buy it.


1. On Wednesday 22 April 2015, 19:37 by Goriot

Pareil pour l'iPhone1, par exemple !
L'iPhone3G a la même ram et le même cpu que l'iPhone1; ils sont sortis à moins d'un an l'un de l'autre; le 3G a eu iOS4 alors que le 2G est resté bloqué en iOS3. Il n'y a aucune raison technique pour ne pas avoir proposé iOS4 pour l'iPhone1.
Dans l'AppStore, il est impossible de télécharger une application N-1 ou N-2; donc une application recompilée en iOS4 devient inaccessible (alors que la version initiale marchait avec l'iPhone1).
En quelques mois, l'iPhone1 est devenu inutilisable, alors qu'il était techniquement encore valable, parce que quasiment toutes les applications ont été recompilées avec le SDK iOS4.

2. On Wednesday 22 April 2015, 20:42 by f1oren

Pour répondre à Goriot, la situation c'est un peu améliorée concernant l'iPhone. L'AppStore permet maintenant de télécharger la version précédente mais c'est valable uniquement depuis le passage à iOS7, les appareils bloqués à iOS6 peuvent récupérer la dernière version compatible. Mais c'est clair que ce point pourrait être amélioré notamment si Apple n'empêchait pas les développeurs de maintenir simultanément deux versions d'une même application.

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