Captain's log, stardate 45638.2. A scan of a long-lost pleasure cruise that exited Earth in the late twenty-first century has yielded some fascinating archaeological findings. In addition to a pair of primitive foot coverings that Commander Data identified as "Converse All-Stars," a complete and mint-condition collection of the classic mythological saga known as Animorphs, and a small, vibrating "Furby" that Mister Worf immediately eviscerated, we have discovered a piece of anachronistic human technology.
Dedicated Android fans will probably be a little disappointed that the latest update to HTC's One M8 flagship on Sprint doesn't include the bleeding edge 4.4.4. But it's pretty close, 4.4.3, and Sprint has thrown in a couple of notable expansions specifically for its network. In addition to the small back-end improvements in 4.4.3, the 2.16.651.4 release adds the Wi-Fi Calling feature that Sprint has been slowly rolling out for the last few months.
Android Wear apps are continuing to flow into the Play Store, but Wear Mini Launcher might be the most interesting one yet. This app places a slide-out app list on your smart watch, saving you from diving into the options to access things by touch. It was a little wonky at first, but already it's shaping up nicely after a few weekend updates.
Running Android on a PC seems like a good idea, until you actually look at the logistics of making the platform work on a non-touch interface. Add to that all the projects out there attempting to do so with limited or completely absent support for Google Play, and you've got a recipe for lame. Console OS was looking for a cool $50k to make Android work on PCs, and the company has succeeded with almost a month left in the campaign.
Google updated its official Camera app with Wear support recently, but that just makes the watch into a shutter button with image review. Wear Camera Remote is a proof-of-concept app that streams the viewfinder to Android wear and works as a shutter.
We've already seen a short video where Android Wear is used to do simple things like toggle lamps and open a garage door, but Armando Ferreira took that concept and applied it to all the things. In this video demoing home automation with Android Wear, he toggle lights, a popcorn maker, and a PC, but doesn't stop there. He also uses his G Watch to adjust his home's thermostat, turn on the TV, and get a notification if any of the doors or windows in his house are opened.
Android Wear does a lot of things well right now, but launching apps by touch is not one of them. If you don't want to shout at your wrist, you have to scroll way to the bottom of the options list to see your installed mini-apps like Keep, Evernote, and IFTTT. Wear Mini Launcher makes it much, much easier by showing all your apps with a quick edge gesture.
Google designed Android Wear around Google Now and notifications, but developers are hard at work extending additional functionality. One such effort is Wearable Widgets, which just added support for Wear in v2.0. It was previously only for Glass and the Sony Smartwatch. Basically, it sends a widget from your phone to your watch.