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
Let's be honest, busy people don't have time to trudge through long books made of mostly filler. Unfortunately, publishers know they can't put a high price on a 40-page book. In the end, authors are stuck building a lavish sea of meaningless words around the simple concepts they want to convey. That's where Blinkist comes in. It's a service that boils popular non-fiction books down to their most formative and salient points. Read More
If you were wondering just what was in inside a Maps update appearing on your devices starting yesterday, wonder no more: the changelog is here. The changelog, though, is not only short, it is not of particularly great interest unless you're a Hindi speaker. Here it is:
- Hindi now supported, including voice navigation
- Improved navigation notifications on Android Wear devices
- Bug fixes
And that's all she (or he) wrote. Read More
Let's think about filters for a moment. They are immensely useful, allowing users to direct (junk) mail from particular senders to the appropriate location (the trash) or apply the correct label (stuff to ignore). Gmail has had the ability to create and manage filters for years, but its app hasn't. In fact, it still lacks this functionality. Yahoo, on the other hand, has rolled the feature into the latest release of its Android app, version 2.6. Read More
The Samsung Gear Live launched with a built-in heart rate monitor, but unfortunately, it could only take measurements one at a time. There was no way to monitor a wearer's heart rate continuously, such as during a workout. Now developer Portable Pixels has hit Google Play with an Android app that makes this functionality possible, one that goes by the rather straightforward name of "Heart Rate Training."
The developer's previous creations skew more towards the amusing side, but that doesn't limit the capability of this app. Read More
I'm at a point in my Android life where I can live without root access if I need to. I don't use very many root applications at all – I generally only use it for a one-touch reboot on phones without a built-in option in the power menu, and Greenify. I love Greenify. I don't use it for every app installed on my phone, but it's a fantastic tool when something just won't quit chomping down on the battery. Read More
In July, Chrome Beta was updated with a new interface that more closely adhered to Google's new design vision - material design. Fitting with Google's occasional habit of stripping things down during major refreshes (see Google Maps on the web), many elements of the interface were sliced, rearranged, or simplified, including the tab indicator in the top right corner of the screen. Previously, the indicator showed users how many tabs were open, but after the redesign it simply displayed a square (or two stacked squares if you had multiple tabs open). Read More
The Play Store has a ton of apps and games, often at very reasonable prices. Still, we live in a world where apps are priced very low, sometimes to the point that people scoff at paying even $0.99 for something. Developers can't just give it away, but they can occasionally drop the price to entice those of you on the fence. So stop with the indecisiveness, and buy some stuff that's on sale. Read More
Today Microsoft is rolling out updates to its OneDrive app across all three of the big mobile platforms: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The full list of changes are detailed in the company's blog post, but ironically, Android tops the page with the most new features while Microsoft's own OS is situated at the bottom, not yet equipped with the features that I am about to share.
The Android version of OneDrive is the first to let people import both a personal and work account. Read More