Android Wear apps are continuing to flow into the Play Store, but Wear Mini Launcher might be the most interesting one yet. This app places a slide-out app list on your smart watch, saving you from diving into the options to access things by touch. It was a little wonky at first, but already it's shaping up nicely after a few weekend updates.


Wear Mini Launcher should now work on the Gear Live, which it was super-buggy on before. It's more reliable on the G Watch too with fixes that prevents the service from dying intermittently (i.e. it'll keep working now). The swipe area is small, but recent updates made it feel a bit more generous. There's also a little haptic buzz when you slide the drawer open or closed.

One of the recent updates also added a new brightness slider, which is brilliant. Simply tap the brightness icon in the drawer and the slider appears so you can adjust the brightness level without opening the settings. Wear Mini Launcher still a completely free app – no in-app purchases or anything.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    I already liked the app and found it somewhat useful. This just took it to a must-have.

    At least until Google catches on that this was always needed.

  • Shane Redman

    curious how it will be accessed on circular faces since the swipe action is in a corner.

    • Daniel Rodriguez

      ... maybe diagonally down from the 10-11 o'clock position? No clue, mind you, but seems like a possibility. Assuming Wear API allows for diagonal dragging and not just up-down-left-right.

    • slurivariv

      Damn, hadn't even thought of that. Moto 360's apps are gonna be hella broken for the first few weeks.

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  • nxtiak

    I don't have the haptic feedback when it is opened or closed.
    I do have the new brithness setting though.

  • Kawshik Ahmed

    Google should buy the app and hire the developer

  • Kevin

    Maybe the developer will figure how to increase vibration intensity. I miss every single notification because I don't feel the vibration. This leaves me looking at my watch endlessly for missed notifications

    • Tom Harman

      I have found a few times when i miss something too, does need to be either stronger or adjustable when it comes to the vibration.

  • BAM1789


  • abobobilly

    This launcher is getting better and better, and i see huge potential in this.

    However, i am curious how i'll work out on "round" faced watches, like Moto360. Android wear for now, is only being shown on "square" watches (like phones), but Moto360 now seems like out-of-the-world in Android wear.

  • Andrew

    I prefer Wear My Launcher.

    It's more in keeping with the Wear UI and design guidelines and the Dev has been promptly resolving any issues and responding to email quickly

  • Mystery Man

    I like it but I haven't figured out a way to close the launcher unless you make a selection.

    • Sean Thomas

      You can slide it back, from the top right corner to left.

      • Mystery Man