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Samsung Just Did Something Apple Would Never Do

Samsung may have an ongoing device rivalry with Apple, but it's warming up to the iPhone in an all-new way. The company just came out with two apps that make its many wearables — including the Gear S2, Gear S3, and Gear Fit 2 — compatible with iOS devices.

The newly released Gear S app for iOS works with the Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatches. The Gear Fit app works with Samsung's Gear Fit 2 fitness tracker.

The free apps, which are available now in Apple's App Store, mean anyone with an iPhone will be able to download the app, set it up, and finally pair their Samsung Gear smartwatch with Apple's handset. The apps let you manage Gear apps, change battery settings, and handle notifications. You can also access most of the same fitness features.

MORE: Best Smartwatches - Top Picks for Android and iOS

It's not always common for companies that compete against each other to support the other firm's platforms. Apple, for instance, has long avoided the practice of sharing its apps and other products with third-parties, hoping instead that customers will invest in its own ecosystem of hardware and software to get what it says is the best experience. Apple Music is one recent exception.

Still, Apple's policy has been criticized by those who say it should be more open to other platforms such as Android and make it easier for fans of other platforms to access its products. Apple has, in the vast majority of cases, ignored those requests. Take the Apple Watch, for instance, which only pairs with iOS devices.

Meanwhile, Samsung has promised iOS support for its smartwatches over the last few years, but failed to deliver in 2016. That's changed with these new apps, giving smartwatch owners who don't want to use Android another option at their disposal.

Both the Gear S and Gear Fit apps require iOS 9 or later in order to allow two-way communication between the devices.