The Samsung Galaxy Gear has turned out to be quite the entertaining hacking device. Using Android’s SDK and Android Debug Bridge (ADB) ArsTechnica was able to sideload some proper Android apps on the little smartwatch and it had no trouble running them.
You only need to enable USB debugging on the Galaxy Gear settings in order for this to work – no root required. The Samsung smartwatch runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 with an 800 MHz single-core chip and 512 MB of RAM so it’s able to run apps like most droids would – the only limitation is the small on-board storage and tiny screen.
There’s still no root available for the Galaxy Gear, which prevents the hackers from enabling the sideload of Google Apps on it, though. And interestingly you cannot change the wallpaper, even with Nova Launcher (which the Galaxy Gear had no trouble running). Here’s a video showing the Galaxy Gear running Candy Crush, CyanogenMod-based Apollo music player and Nova Launcher. Oh there’s also a video playing on the MX player.