How to use your Samsung Gear watch with an iPhone

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Gear watches are finally iPhone-friendly.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung today released its new Gear apps for iOS, finally allowing iPhone to be used with Gear watches. In this how-to, we’ll show you how to get them connected, how to download new apps and watch faces, and how to setup S Health.

Preparing your Gear

The first thing you’re going to need to do is prepare your Gear watch. If it’s brand new, just switch it on and wait for it to start up. If you’ve previously used it with an Android device, you’ll need to restore it so that it’s ready for another smartphone.

To do this, go into the Settings app, then select Gear info. Now choose Reset Gear, then tap Factory reset. Confirm you want to proceed, then let the watch do its thing. Once the process is complete, the device will restart and you can move onto pairing.

Connecting a Gear watch to iPhone

Now you’re going to need to pair your Gear watch with your iPhone over Bluetooth. Start by downloading the Gear S app if you’re connecting a Gear S2 or Gear S3, or the Gear Fit app if you’re connecting a Gear Fit2.

Once the app is installed on your iPhone, open it up and allow it to search for your Gear. When it’s found, tap the Connect button. You will be asked to check that the passcode on your iPhone matches the passcode on your Gear watch; tap confirm on both devices.

Tap the Enable button in the Gear app to grant access to your iPhone’s location, calendar, and photos. Agree to Samsung’s end user license agreement and S Health privacy notice by tapping the check marks, then tap Done.

Your devices are now paired.

Setting up S Health

To get started with S Health, tap the Open S Health button on the info page inside the Gear app. If you already have an S Health account from your old Galaxy device, you can sign into it. If not, tap the Create new account button and follow the signup process.

Once you’re signed in, S Health will track your steps and your sleep (if you go to bed wearing your Gear watch). You can also use the S Health app on your Gear to record your intake of water and caffeine, to measure your heart rate, and to track workouts — like running and cycling.

This data is then synced to your iPhone, but sadly, it won’t be integrated into Apple’s own Health app.

Downloading apps and watch faces

Samsung’s Gear watches ship with some great built-in apps, and some nice watch faces. But what’s the point of a smartwatch if you can’t customize it to your liking? To grab new content, tap the Settings tab inside the Gear app, then tap Samsung Galaxy Apps.

Inside the store, you can use the menu button in the top right corner to look at apps and watch faces individually, or to browse the top charts. You can also tap My apps to find content you’ve previously downloaded if you used your Gear with another smartphone.

When you’ve found an app or watch face you want to install, simply tap the download button, then tap Accept and download. A status bar at the bottom of the Gear app will let you know once the download is finished and the app has been installed on your device.

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