Android Wear has only been out for a few weeks, but already developers are trying their hands at designing apps for Google's wearable platform. Since this is a new usage paradigm for Android, it's hard to know what sort of user experiences will catch on and which will fall flat. This is the first installment of what will hopefully become a regular part of our roundups – all the best apps and watch faces for Android Wear.
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
Let's just say you popped open Facebook and spotted something interesting shared by one of your friends – maybe you want to save that? I can't remember the last time this happened, but I'm sure it's possible. That's what Facebook's newly announced Save feature is for, and I'm kind of surprised it didn't already exist.
Music Boss was one of the apps Pebble users have found rather indispensible, and now there's a version for Android Wear. This is essentially an alternative way to control all your media apps (not just music) with swipe gestures and a prettier info screen. It's still not an ideal solution, but maybe you'll overlook its foibles.
There are a lot of goodies in the newest version of Google Maps, which just started rolling out to devices last week. However, some users are getting a bonus that didn't show up in the changelog. We've been able to get a few confirmations of a new Explore Nearby tool in Maps that offers much more fine-grained control of location-based suggestions.
One of the features LG pushed hard with the announcement of the G3 was its Knock Code screen locking feature. While the device is asleep, you can tap on the screen in predefined locations to wake it and unlock instantly. Knock Code actually debuted on the G Pro 2, but now Sprint's G2 is getting it as well.
Tasker is right up there with our lord Matias Duarte in the amount of love it gets from the Android community. There's really no other way to get anywhere close to the same kind of automation running on your device. The new v4.4 update adds even more functionality to this already robust app. Heck, you almost don't have to touch the phone anymore. That doesn't really sound as fun, though.
It's not update Wednesday anymore, but Google can do whatever it wants with its apps. That's how things work. Today Mountain View has started rolling out an update to Google Maps with some stuff to make cyclists very happy. Not to leave everyone else out, there's now conversational voice actions while in navigation.