23
Jul
b

When George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he famously replied, "Because it's there." I imagine a similar disposition possessed the developer of Wear Browser (better known for AIDE) when he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, I guess I'll put a browser on that watch." I say this because I can't think of a good reason anyone would do this. Still, it exists.

Wear Browser comes with a companion app on the phone that can be used to feed web addresses to the watch, but you can also navigate with voice commands or with your bookmarks on the watch. Not good enough? it also hooks into the phone's browser intents for quickly pushing pages to your wrist. The Android Wear device loads up teeny tiny versions of the pages you call up using data passed to it over Bluetooth. It's pretty slow, but scrolling isn't bad and JavaScript works. You can even use multitouch zoom.

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9 Screenshot_2014-07-23-14-22-15

This app is completely free, so you don't have to spend any money to check out this betrayal of everything Wear stands for. It does seem like a neat little project from a development perspective, though. Wear doesn't support WebViews on its own, so Wear Browser implements Chromium on the watch. The list of project credits (seen below) is impressive, due mostly to Chromium. In seriousness, you might as well check it out if only to gawk at the weirdness.

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://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • CoreRooted

    I can think of a couple of use cases for IT support. 1) A simple webpage view of server status[es]. Yes, there are apps that notify you if they are up/down, etc (I personally use Pingdom for our servers here), but to be able to see a tiny view on your wrist fed from a page hosted somewhere would be cool, at least until someone writes an Wear app to do the same thing. 2nd, a page with CI build statuses (same thing as server support, but for developers).

    I'm sure there could be other use cases. I'm not saying this is NEEDED at all, but at least there are some uses for it.

    • cmbeid

      I was thinking about doing that with RSS feeds using IFTTT. However, I already get pages and emails, which show up on my phone/watch, so I already see the notifications. But the server status page I wrote looks good on that tiny browser. It just takes a lot of steps to get there, as the bookmarks are all unordered.

      • CoreRooted

        Perhaps a Tasker task to push a bookmark upon certain conditions would work? I use that type of setup currently with my Pebble.

    • someone755

      Wouldn't a real app that just gives you the status be better than having to somehow get to your status page? :O

      • CoreRooted

        A "real" app would still have to query some sort of a status "page" (granted, that page could be a RSS feed, web service or whatever). That's really not much different than what I am describing. Plus, HTML5 is a lot easier to write (especially for a tiny browser) than Java/XML code (IMHO).

  • http://about.me/barrae Maximiliano Barra E.
    • WORPspeed

      I wonder what they are actually surprised about

  • bougliou

    I'm a little disappointed that a browser came out before an RSS app

  • Matthew Fry

    Oh no! The link I need is at the bottom!

    scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll... this is the wrong page! *sigh*

    • CoreRooted

      lmao!!!

    • someone755

      Hey, the people on XDA that don't read the post right above theirs could have an excuse! "Duhh Im on my wtch atm pls i just nid link!1!!1!"

  • Will P

    Dang, too bad there doesn't seem to be any way to log into a website, unless I just can't find it.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That Minuum Keyboard for Wear doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

      • Fadakar

        Eh, kind of does still. While I'm not so radical to say devs should keep this stuff off wear, I don't think we should have access to go so far as a browser with a keyboard to replace pulling our phones out.

        I'm down for a Pip-Boy future, but not yet.

      • http://www.twitter.com/joshuaworth Joshua Worth

        Is it working with this?

  • http://napkinhouse.com/ Matt Shindala

    BOOTSTRAP NEEDS TO SUPPORT WATCHES

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Can you guys imagine Wear-optimized websites?

    • Fadakar

      I imagine they'd look like the current card interface we have, but in a shell app and not your home screen.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        *drooling and heavy breathing* Android Police in GNow card style would be SOOOO EPIC

        • someone755

          Wear-optimized websites with cards.
          Do you really want that, now?
          Like the borders on the side of the page aren't enough now for the desktop, you want the content squeeezed onto tiny cards and have even more blue borders xD

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            well, why the hell not?

          • someone755

            The width of the content would be the same as the width of your question. xD
            Also, technically, these are cards of some sort... Only on desktop tho.

          • curtis

            The size of the screen is bigger than my old Samsung e310 and I use to use WAP on that all the time. Not saying it would be my go to, but I can see how it could be useable on rare occasions

          • someone755

            Yeah but there you probably get a small cursor you control with a D-Pad or something like that. Here, half the screen is covered by your finger, the text is much bigger, meaning you'd have to scroll all the time to read. But you couldn't read because your finger was covering half the screen so you'd have to scroll more gahskdfjahlwisudhj
            Tl;dr: No. xD Getting an app that shows the info you need would be much better than a browser.

  • FrankJL

    The same people that are supposed to improve the watch are the ones making a mockery of it.

    Can't say this enough but developers please stop it. If you have nothing valuable to add please reconsider doing anything.

    It is not a fucking phone.

    • dizel123

      Google isn't gonna force them to stop, so the only way they'll stop is if the sheep stop downloading this garbage, and that's not likely to happen

      • someone755

        That's why Facebook and Instagram still work!

  • abobobilly

    Because ... REASONS.

  • cmbeid

    I have so many bookmarks that it makes it impossible to actually find the bookmark I want. I wish you could "star" certain bookmarks so they always appear at the top.

    • vijay alapati

      u mean a star for the once u already star as bookmark :p

  • Austin

    The 1 thing I STILL want for Android Wear: Full Tasker support. Making my own UIs, ability to control watch settings. Of course, I want to configure profiles on my phone and push them to my wrist. That will make me happy.

    • Cory S

      Still? Calm down there tiger. It's been a month.

      • Austin

        Maybe I used the wrong word lol. I'm just surprised that with all that's been released for wear, a Tasker plug-in hasn't been.

  • Brandon Franklin

    Reminds of "surfing" on my moto RAZR back in the day...what a horrible experience that was

  • Tom Harman

    i like it, except the part where i can't log into facebook without a keyboard, lol.

  • nxtiak

    IT'S CRAP.
    A notification will randomly open on the watch asking you check out something. SPAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    SPAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • hkratz

      You seem to have problems with your CAPS LOCK and ! keys. ;-)
      We have made notifications optional in 1.0beta2 and off by default.

  • Jason

    Wow... This is actually very useful if you want to create a watch interface to check various statuses or issue quick commands, but don't want to bother with Android development. I have a few pages like that, and now I'm curious about how well I could squash them down to look nice on the watch.

  • cmbeid

    Actually, Javascript performance is pretty good on this watch using the browser. I have a server status page that includes a log file of ~2000 HTML elements. The javascript code to dynamically sort/hide runs just as fast on the watch as it does in Chrome on my PC. IE 8 struggles with it on the same PC.

    • Tarun Pemmaraju

      IE8? What are you on? XP?

  • Jason Bourne

    Sweet. I'm watching Netflix on my watch!

  • bethcwhitehorn

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

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  • gadgety

    RSS text reader would be good.

  • someone755

    Not because why not, but because fuck you, that's why. xD

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