The newest Android Wear update has started rolling out to the Samsung Gear Live after hitting G Watch and Moto 360 devices in the last few days. The update comes with version number 4.4W.2 and makes a handful of tweaks to the OS, not the least of which is the option to hide notification cards on the watch face.
Android includes tools to follow the state of your battery, but not Android Wear. Seems like an oversight on Google's part, but developers are trying to fill in the gaps. The first such app showed up just recently, but now there's a new Wear battery tracker from the developer of the fantastic Wear Mini Launcher. Wear Battery Stats can be used on the phone or watch to see how the battery has been doing and identify potential issues.
"OK Google, what is Microsoft Garage?" Well, Rita, it's an idea incubator for Microsoft employees who like to dabble with things non-Microsofty in their spare time, like Android for example. They have a crush on us, but they still can't completely deny their allegiance to the quad colors of Redmond so they indulge by mixing in some Bing bangy bongiddy features. "Ah, thanks Google. Can you give me an example?" Sure Rita, that Bing Torque app they just released, though if you ask me, they need a copy editor for their Play Store listing: "It is like to have Microsoft’s Cortana running on your smart watch." That was a direct quote and it is like to read a torturous story for me.
Android 4.4W.2 is slowly rolling out to various Wear devices this week, and my G Watch R review unit just received it earlier this afternoon. A couple of commenters have pointed out a new feature in W2 that we hadn't yet noticed - you can now hide notifications, as opposed to dismissing them, directly from the watchface.
Back in September, we heard Google's official plans to update Android Wear and add more functionality to the platform and its watches. The first update promised to bring GPS and offline music playback capabilities, so that Wear watches could be used without a phone to track activities and listen to tunes via Bluetooth. The second update is supposed to add native support for watch faces. And it looks like LG's G Watch is the first Android Wear device to start benefiting from these additions.
The most fitness oriented of Android Wear devices so far is now listed in the Play Store. None other than the Sony SmartWatch 3, from the company that previously said it was sticking with its non-Android watch platform. Yeah, that went well.
Android Wear is naturally more limited than regular builds of Android, but some of the omissions just don't make sense. No battery monitor, Google? Really? Well, there's finally an app that fills in some of the gaps, and it's called Wear Battery Monitor. That's a descriptive, if predictable name.
The app can be opened on the watch to get a battery percent graph over time with a maximum of 24 hours of data.
We're in a bit of a lull for Android Wear devices. All three launch watches have been released and the second wave is still on the way. You may be wondering, have the app developers slowed down? Hell no, and how dare you ask such a leading question in your head just how? It's okay, though. We forgive you. As penance, read the following zillion words about all the new apps for Android Wear from the last few weeks.
As we've noted before, Facer is pretty cool: it's a way to make or load custom watch faces and easily apply them to your Android Wear device. While the Facer app has its own built-in gallery of submitted watch faces, FaceRepo is an impressively varied alternative that allows you to browse watch faces on the web. User-submitted designs are split into round and square watch faces for the Moto 360 and G Watch/Gear Live, respectively.