How to use the Galaxy Gear with the Nexus 5

By Adam Zeis on 21 Jan 2014 10:41 am

The Samsung Galaxy Gear has been a big hit with smartwatch fans since its release, but unfortunately hasn't reached a larger set of users due to the small set of devices with which it's compatible. The Galaxy Gear currently only works with Samsung's Galaxy series of phones including the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Mega. Some hardcore users have taken it upon themselves to get the Galaxy Gear up and running with other devices however, one such method involving the Nexus 5.

If you're a Nexus 5 user and itching to rock a Galaxy Gear, this method does work, though it also takes a decent amount of work to get up and running (and it is a bit messy with scattered APKs). But if you're really looking to use your Galaxy Gear with an "unsupported" device, this is the route to take (for now).

How to use the Galaxy Gear with the Nexus 5

  1. Install gearmanagerstub.apk on your phone
  2. Download Gear Manager 1.6.111801 — and rename the APK to ZIP
  3. Open the ZIP and go to assets/preinstallapks
  4. ​Install each of the individual APK files to your device one by one (note that music and weather will not install)
  5. Install the full Gear Manager 1.6.111801 APK (the actual APK, not the ZIP)
  6. Pair your Galaxy Gear to the phone (it may take more than a few tries either by NFC or manually)
  7. Install ATNManager 1.2.2
  8. Allow ATNManager access via Settings > Security > Notification Access
  9. Within ATNManager, choose what notifications you'd like to receive on your Galaxy Gear


If you managed to do all that correctly you should be able to receive notifications on your watch via the ATN Manager app. They aren't pretty but they do work. Some notifications will show you a message, others only give you the option to view on the phone. Pretty much everything but S-Voice and weather works like a champ — the dialer, voice memo, contacts and find my device. Some work, some don't. Expected when you hack things together :) 

We've played around a bit with a few other devices and haven't had much luck using this method, but if you happen to get the Galaxy Gear up and running with another phone, please drop a comment and let us know. 

Thanks to DrSavant for the tip and all the folks at XDA for the legwork.


Reader comments

How to use the Galaxy Gear with the Nexus 5


That's amazing that someone finally got this to work.

It's a real shame that the Gear is only limited to Samsung devices because I think they would find a lot more success making it open to any Android device. I don't see anyone buying a Gear though with this workaround announced since it could possibly be patched.

Hey. I got it working on Sony Xperia Z Ultra which has been flashed with the Google play edition software.

Hey Kayzey78 would please explained me how to do it beacuse I renamed the gear manager to zip file but when I unpacked it nothing happens this kind of har I guess when you don't have any video guidance ! Thanks.

brodha could u pls say the steps dat u have done on ypur phn . here i m usin one xperia z1 nd i need to plug this smart watch with my phn

I have it running on my Nexus 5, and so far it's pretty good. Notifications on the phone doesn't seem to get save though. Once I click it, then it's gone. Also, I'm able to get the pictures taken from the GEAR to transfer to my Nexus 5.

update: I guess the notifications are saved on the ATN app.

How did you get notifications to work? I am on a Nexus 5 myself, but I can't get the notifications to work.
My phone does not send them to the gear?
Could you help me out here!

Ahhhhh thank you thank you thank you! I rooted my phone Galaxy S4 a while back and then installed Cyanogemod 11 stable and my gear which is running null15 at the time would not connect. I Tried everything! But could simply not get it to work. I actually just left my gear on a shelf for like 2 months. BUT THIS WORKED!!! Voice and Music dont work but maybe soon it will!

Got it working on my HTC one, running CM11. Notifications are good, phone works well but the weather and of course s voice do not work. I cannot get the media controls to work which is the main reason I like these watches. Any suggestions? Thanks

I bought my gear through Best Buy for a deal of the day that put it at $150. Keep an eye out on their website for deals of the day. I am sure it will be back up there on the cheap. I have a Galaxy Nexus phone. Yeah, the old one. I figured for that price if I cannot get it to work, then I would just return it. I have it working now. Only down side is that not all of the functions work. Very similar to what ya'll have working to this glorified digital watch. I had to use CyanogenMod to bring my old os from 4.0.? to now 4.4.2. That wasn't too bad to do at all. I am very pleased with the results. The phone does operate much better. As for installing the crap for the phone there were about 22 items I had to individually install. It was a bitch to get it to pair with my phone, but once that happened I was good to go. I can't wait to see what hacks come available for this watch. I now know that I will have to up grade my phone. I am grandfathered into unlimited data through verizon. No way am I going to utilize their free upgrade so I lose my plan. I will have to buy a phone out right. Anyway, sorry for rambling. Good luck to everybody with this watch.