So you've just picked up an Android Wear device, but what the heck can you do with this tiny wrist computer? Sure, it pulls in notification from your phone and shows you Google Now cards, but you need some apps too. It can be a challenge to navigate the Play Store in search of the best watch apps, but we've been keeping a close eye on things. Here are the five apps every Android Wear device needs to have installed.
Wear Mini Launcher
I simply cannot imagine using Android Wear without Wear Mini Launcher. Read More
WhatsApp was surprisingly quick off the draw after the release of Android Wear, updating its sideloaded beta app with Wear support early this month. Now the 2.11.362 update is available on the general play store release, so even users who don't want to use the beta (or who don't know about it) can get richer WhatsApp chat notifications on their wrists. Huzzah!
The update to the main app includes most of the standard Wear messaging stuff: full long message viewing, nested/stacked messages with sliding navigation between them, and the usual reply via voice option. Read More
Update: A Google representative reached out to inform us that the bug report feature only appears if your phone is also in developer mode (tap repeatedly on the Build Number in the "About Phone/Tablet" menu). You may need to enable developer mode on Android Wear as well, as one commenter points out.
If you've found a problem with your Android Wear watch, you can now submit a bug to wearable app developers. Read More
As with Holo before it, Material Design has triggered a deluge of app concepts, mockups, and fancy animations from various enthusiasts and designers in the community (myself included). A key factor that is often left out of these presentations, however, is a detailed and thoughtful explanation of design choices and UI considerations that went into the finished product.
As a designer, explanations of your design thinking are critical when presenting new designs, not just to those that would actually be building the app (they need to know the details), but to a broader audience of end users and even other designers. Read More
Any miniscule tap will wake up an Android Wear watch and make it start doing stuff, and there's no lock screen option built-in. Baby Time was one of the first Wear apps that sought to solve this, but Shower Wear is on another level. It's like the standard Android lock screen, but it's on your watch.
We've been testing Shower Wear recently to see how it works in practice (we listed it in the last Roundup too). Read More
Android Wear does a lot of things well, but operating with multiple devices is not one of them. If you've ever wanted to pair with a new phone or tablet, you've probably found the process pretty agonizing. Wear usually requires a reset of the watch before it will see a new device, but Android Wear BeeLink does it in a single step from your wrist.
Thanks to an awesome, understated design and (eventually) a competitive price, the Moto X has quietly become a favorite among discerning Android users. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Motorola has wasted no time in bringing the latest Android updates to its compact little flagship. Today Sprint's version of the Moto X gets upgraded to Android 4.4.4, up from the 4.4.3 build released in June.
Sprint isn't the last of the "big four" carriers to release its Moto X 4.4.4 update: technically AT&T is still soak testing their release. Read More
Ever since the reveal of Android Wear, we've been waiting for that awesome-looking Moto 360 watch with the circular screen. And waiting. And waiting. Though it looks like the release or at least the announcement might finally come next month, LG isn't missing the opportunity to get people excited for their second Android Wear device after the G Watch. Behold, LG's 30-second teaser for a watch announcement at the IFA show, which starts in Berlin in just under two weeks. Read More
Update, 10-15-14: yeah, looks like we were wrong. Despite the "LMP" tags below, Android L (which is definitely 5.0) is codenamed "Lollipop." Lemon Meringue Pie did get something of a shout-out in Google's cheeky dramatization of the name reveal, though.
We've been wondering what the codename for the "L" release of Android would be ever since KitKat was revealed, and today it looks like we've got more evidence in support of "Lemon Meringue Pie." Thanks to our own research and a submission from reader Yuku Sugianto, we've found multiple official sources in code and documentation that list the next release as "LMP," which can only refer to the delicious baked good. Read More
Is your wrist lonely right now despite the loving embrace of an Android Wear watch? Don't fret—you can always send some apps over to join the party. You just need to know which ones, right? That's what the Roundup is all about. We only want to make you and your wrist happy. Why won't you let us love you?! Read More