Android Wear – Apps I’m Using
Android Wear has been in the spotlight for a while now, and we can’t wait to put it through its paces and find out all its capabilities, along with some possible shortcomings. The core functionality of the OS and its features will be explored in detail during the upcoming hands-on reviews of the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. Before we dive in however, today, we’ll be taking a look at some useful, extra applications that support Android Wear, that will certainly help make your life easier. Let’s get started!
The Android Wear app made its way to the Google Play Store a few days ago, with the application store also featuring a new section for apps that are compatible with the smartwatch OS, such as Lyft and AlltheCooks. Unfortunately, that list does not include each and every app that works with Android Wear, and if you don’t want to wait or surf the web to stay on top of Android Wear news, a great option for you to check out is the Wear Store. The Wear Store provides an overview of all the apps available that are compatible with Android Wear smartwatches, including standalone apps that run on the watch.
The Wear Store is available for free from the Google Play Store here.
Bunting is a minimalistic Twitter client for Android Wear, that allows you to tweet messages directly from your Android Wear smartwatch. The set up is very easy with all you having to do is log into Bunting using your Twitter account, and once that’s done, you can start tweeting by dictating your message directly to the watch. If you tweet on a regular basis, and own an Android Wear device, Bunting is a quick and easy way to share your thoughts with the world.
Currently, only voice tweeting functionality is available, but the developers promise that there’s more to come. You can find Bunting on the Google Play Store here.
The Wearable Widgets application introduced Android Wear support just a couple of days ago. As the name suggests, it is an application that lets you access widgets directly on your wearable device. The Wearable Widgets card on your watch will let you choose from a list of widgets, and the watch will then communicate with your connected smartphone to fetch the widget of your choice. One functionality that is really good is that it keeps a persistent notification on your smartphone, that allows for the widget to always show up on your watch. This means that you won’t have to constantly go back to the app, open it, and then access the widget that you want.
Wearable Widgets is a very useful app, but you do have to keep in mind that some widgets lend themselves better than others to the smaller screen size of wearable devices, and as such, not every widget works well on every device. You’ll also find that taps and swipes aren’t as quick and responsive as it would be when the widget is used directly on the smartphone, due to a lag in connection between the phone and the device. But as the app continues to get better, the experience should improve greatly as well.
You can only add one widget with the free version and so you’ll have to purchase the full experience in-app for $1.99 if you want to add more than one widget to your watch. Wearable Widgets is available from the Google Play Store here.
Binary Watch Face
If you were wondering whether watch faces can be downloaded to your Android Wear device, the answer is yes. One example of the available watch faces is the Binary Watch Face. It’s a very clean and good looking binary clock for the smartwatch. One thing that does come up with regards to these custom watch faces is that whenever a notification pops up, they end up covering a part of the watch face design, which is something to look out for, especially if there is something with a persistent notification.
The companion app the installs on your smartphone with the watch face allows you to configure the colours on the watch face to your liking. Binary Watch Face can be found on the Google Play Store here.
Tockle is an Android Wear application that helps you control and change certain settings on your smartphone, such as volume control, turning on and off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. The functionality that I find most useful is its ability to initiate Tasker tasks. For example, I have a task set up that lets me initiate my music playlist. Once the task is set up, I can run the task directly from the smartwatch using Tockle, without needing to touch my phone. Just tapping on the action button will initiate the process, and in this case, allows me to open my music playlist, without accessing the phone.
Tockle is currently in beta, and you can help the developer by testing out the app. You can find out more about Tockle here.
From the creator of Bunting comes a fun application called Flopsy Bird. The game is a clone of Flappy Bird, with similar mechanics gameplay. The bird is gone and has been replaced with the green Bugdroid we all know and love. But the big difference is the fact that this is a game is playable on your Android Wear smartwatch. If you’re looking to let some time go by, Flopsy Bird is great way to do so.
Flopsy Droid can be downloaded from the Google Play Store here.
So there you have a quick look at some of the apps that I’ve been using with my LG G Watch so far. Stay tuned with Android Authority as we continue to bring you extensive coverage of Android Wear, including the upcoming reviews from the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live!