Google I/O 2014 has come and gone, but that doesn't mean great stuff from the conference isn't still coming out. The companion app used by thousands of attendees -and hundreds of thousands of fans and followers- has been open sourced! Code for the I/O app is meant to serve as an example of best practices for Android developers, providing fully functioning implementations of the latest design principles, UI controls, networking code, and more.
Enough of these watch faces that are all about delivering important information and attractive "design." How about some animated GIFs? This app downloads trending animations from Giphy and syncs them to the watch to be displayed each time you wake it up. Want to see it in action? We've got a video.
As far as we can tell, today's over-the-air update for Fuhu's top-of-the-line DreamTab HD8 is the first time the company has published an Android 4.4 device build. Not that the kid-friendly target demographic is likely to care that their tablets are running the latest and greatest KitKat build, but heck, newer is better, right? According to Nabi's support website, the update is going out to tablets today, and can be initiated with the usual manual check in "Mommy or Daddy mode."
In addition to the extras in Android 4.4., the update adds a basic calendar app designed to let children start learning their Gregorian.
The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live both lack a light sensor to adjust screen brightness, which is kind of a pain. The Moto 360 is supposed to have have an ambient light sensor, but Display Brightness for Wear lets you fake the same functionality on the G Watch and Gear Live. It uses the time and your phone's location to determine how bright the watch should be, which is pretty clever.
App installation on Android Wear is completely transparent when it works correctly, but that can be an issue when things aren't going smoothly. Wear Apps Tracker makes the watch act a bit more like your phone with regard to app changes. Basically, it adds notifications.
Good grief, the developer behind the Wear Mini Launcher is certainly setting a rapid pace. The app has only been available for a couple of weeks and already it's seen a major update. Today you can download the Play Store beta version (after you've joined the Google+ community, bah) to try out the 2.0 release. The 2.0 update includes options for moving the swipe-in activation gesture to other screen positions.
Think of smartwatches now like smartphones were around 2008 - despite the fact that the idea has been around for a long time, everyone is still trying to figure out the best way to go about it. In Android Wear, Google is trying to make a super-simple interface based on short swipes, taps, and voice commands... which leaves a lot of users craving more conventional tools. So we've got a launcher, a web browser, a file explorer (ugh) and now a substitute for the Recent Apps menu in Android OS.
Big things are happening for the smallest of Android devices. Over the last month, we've seen several attempts to extend the capabilities of Android Wear, some have worked out, while others haven't fared so well. Most of the activity has come in the form of 3rd-party apps, so there hasn't been much action for dedicated modders. That is, until today. Team Win just posted its first official custom recovery for the LG G Watch (dory).
Got an Android Wear device? If so, there's a mic on your wrist, so you might as well use it to keep track of all the insightful things that come tumbling out of your mouth. Or random craziness, whichever you're more prone to. Wear Audio Recorder lets you record voice notes from the watch, which are then pushed over to the phone.
Welcome to the future, ladies and gents. Your jacket isn't dry, your pizza isn't freeze-dried, and your car can't fly, but if it comes from Tesla, it's still pretty cool. If you also happen to have an Android Wear device, you can pretend to be Michael Knight by talking to your car through your watch, thanks to the unofficial Tesla Command app for Wear. Unfortunately it won't talk back, unless you count honking the horn.