The Android Wear companion app on Android has been a bit of an eyesore since the platform launched last summer. It looked like something born of a torrid love affair between Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich and was lacking in options. A new leak from Phandroid shows off the updated Wear app with a new design and features, and it looks much improved.
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.
Android Wear is picking up steam with three devices currently available, and several more still dropping later this year. You'll be able to adorn your wrist with whatever kind of screen you want—square, round, slightly different square, slightly different round, and I'm sure many others. You'll want apps to make your screen of choice worth using, and that's where the Roundup comes in. Here are all the Wear apps that didn't suck from the last few weeks.
The Sony leaks are not over yet—Xperia Blog has what appears to be a press shot of the Xperia Z3 in copper, as well as a glimpse of Sony's new SmartBand. With an e-ink screen, this accessory will probably get mega-long battery life.
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.
We've seen some shorter than usual product cycles as of late, but this would be crazy—The Korea Times is reporting that LG will be at IFA in early September with the LG G Watch 2. Yeah, a whole two months after the original G Watch started shipping.
Wearable Widgets rolled out support for Android Wear pretty quickly after the first devices hit the streets, and now there's another big update to the app. In addition to mirroring widgets from the phone, the new version can set any widget as your watch face. There are a few drawbacks, but it's a neat option.
Android Wear has a lot of fine points, but there are a few things missing from the first round of devices. One of the more annoying shortcomings is the lack of a light sensor on the G Watch or the Gear Live. The Moto 360, however, will have a light sensor built in, according to Motorola's Cathay Bi.
Music Boss was one of the apps Pebble users have found rather indispensible, and now there's a version for Android Wear. This is essentially an alternative way to control all your media apps (not just music) with swipe gestures and a prettier info screen. It's still not an ideal solution, but maybe you'll overlook its foibles.
Everyone is making a wearable thing now, but you can't buy Razer's Nabu smart band just yet. The device is still in limited beta trials, but once it's out, the newly released Nabu Android app will tie it to your phone. I guess until then you can stare longingly at the login screen.