Again we are overflowing with Android Wear apps—both the kind built entirely for Wear, and other apps that have embraced Google's approach to smart watches. So naturally, here we are to bring you the best selections that have popped up in the last week. Strap on your watch and get ready to check out some apps. Alternatively, if you don't have an Android Wear watch, please draw a watch on your wrist with a marker and follow along.
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
Wearable Widgets rolled out support for Android Wear pretty quickly after the first devices hit the streets, and now there's another big update to the app. In addition to mirroring widgets from the phone, the new version can set any widget as your watch face. There are a few drawbacks, but it's a neat option.
LG responded to concerns over corrosion of the G Watch charging pins by making a few tweaks with the KMV78Y update. Now the same build is rolling out to the Samsung Gear live, which as far as I'm aware, doesn't have the same charging pin issues. How curious.
T-Mobile is really taking a run at this whole kinder, gentler carrier thing. Among its many initiatives is the Samsung Galaxy Avant, a modestly specced phone that you can unlock (to use on other carriers) with the newly released SIM unlock app. It might come to more phones later, but it's a step in the right direction anyway.
Perhaps you recall back in 2012 when Google caught some flack for its 10-device limit on Play Music access with only four deauthorizations per year. It was forced to backpedal and allow users to deauthorize unlimited devices, and all was well with the world. Well, until now. It looks like Google has started enforcing a limit of four deauthorizations per year once again. Support docs and the Play Music settings list the limit.
Update 8/7/14 #1: Quite a few of you experienced issues with album art after updating to version 5.6.1616P. Google has now released a new update 5.6.1617P which resolves this (you can find the new APK below). You may need to clear data and restart the app if album art still doesn't show up.
Update 8/7/14 #2: Google posted the official changelog, and looks like this is also new in this release: "You can now undo tracks removed from playlists and the queue via swipe."
Google has been playing around with the Play Music interface a bit lately, but the widget hasn't been keeping pace.
Maybe you've seen those wacky videos of people controlling things with voice actions on Android Wear. We've posted a few of them, and Tockle is one of the pieces that makes it possible. This app has been in beta for a few weeks now, but today is the v1.0 release. You should be able to grab the stable release from the Play Store right now.
For all the issues with the Duo Camera on HTC's flagship One M8, the selective focus thing is pretty fun to play with. With the newest update to the HTC Gallery app in the Play Store, M8 owners can share Duo Camera images to the web that anyone can use to change the focus. It's sort of like those Lytro camera embeds. We have one below you should try out.
The Android L release is the first time Google has offered a developer preview of an upcoming version of the platform, so no one knew how it would handle things. Would there be updates? Could we watch L evolve over time? It was unclear before, but now Google has posted new versions of the images for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5.