Recently, we took a look at some essential apps for any smartwatch owner. Those six apps are useful for anyone using Android Wear, no matter their preferences or technical experience. However, you’ll likely want to expand beyond the basics. Even if you skip the first list, be sure to install the indispensable Wear Mini Launcher before hitting this one, as it enables you to open apps on your watch much more easily.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some more Android Wear apps that are still handy, but not as universally useful. From customization to automation, these offer some choices to really spruce up your watch. You might not want to install everything on offer here, but chances are at least one of them is up your alley.
When you install an app on your Android phone (perhaps one of the best), you get a notification letting you know it was installed. On Android Wear, there’s no such confirmation. In addition, some phone apps install Wear counterparts that you might not even know about.
Wear Apps Tracker fixes this issue by alerting you to when an app installs, updates, or is removed on your watch, as well as providing a basic overview list of what’s installed on your wearable.
It’s not the most exciting app in the world, but it does take away the mystery of knowing what’s on your watch. As mentioned, some apps (like the dating service Tinder and Google Keep) are phone apps with optional Wear components, and some don’t show up in your phone’s app drawer at all.
Though the Android Wear app already does show you everything installed on your watch (shown left, below), the notifications, sleek interface, and ability to quickly uninstall apps make this worth a download.
Your watch allows you to answer and initiate calls from your wrist, but it’s not super useful because you still need to use your phone to talk.
If you’re someone who uses the speakerphone frequently, Wear Speaker is for you. This tiny app simply lets you toggle speakerphone on your device whenever you enter into a call via a notification prompt on your watch.
It’s simple, but it works. For those times when your hands aren’t free or your phone is across the room, it’ll save you some work.
The base app is free, but for a $1 in-app purchase each, you can add the ability to change speaker status during a call, call your contacts from within the app, and remove the ads on the phone portion. For the most part, though, the free offering should do just fine.
Android Wear comes with weather cards built-in to Google Now, but weather aficionados will probably be looking for something better. Aeris doesn’t do anything special as an app on its own, but on your wrist, it provides as much info as you’d want.
Current conditions, temperatures for the next several hours, four-day extended looks, and even a radar are available at a tap. Other available features include severe advisory notifications and a customizable refresh rate.
If your daily schedule requires you to have the most up-to-date info available at a glance, or if you just love checking the weather, it’s worth a download.
It interacts with two simple commands: pressing a button on your watch as a trigger, and receiving a notification as an action. Searching “Android Wear” in the recipe directory will give you some ideas from others, as you can always create your own scripts.
An obvious example is to have IFTTT send notifications to your watch that you once had sent to your phone (such as sports scores, stock information, or shipping updates).
Even better, though, are recipes that allow you to mute or unmute your phone from your watch, control smart home equipment such as the Nest thermostat, or automatically send a text. It takes some time to get recipes ready, but once you do, you’ll be saving time every day.
RSS, a web technology that provides instant updates for sites you care about (check Kannon’s full guide for more), is great for quick updates, which lends itself naturally to an Android Wear app.
Using WeaRSS, you can add your favorite feeds and be notified when something new arrives. Your watch isn’t ideal for reading full articles, obviously, but the headline and intro should be enough for you to decide if you want to read more later.
RSS doesn’t fit everyone, so if you feel like you’re trying to force it into your workflow, don’t fret. However, if you like news updates throughout the day, this is a perfect app to use.
Runtastic is a top fitness app, and its wearable component only makes it better. With it, you can track your run on a map, view calories burned, keep a workout diary, and set training goals. On your watch, you can begin a session right from your wrist and worry about the details later.
If fitness is a priority to you, using a watch with Runtastic is a no-brainer. If you like what you see, an upgrade to the Pro version, which adds various new features, is available for $5.
Plenty To Wear
By now, your smartwatch is hopefully filled up with awesome apps! From checking weather to getting news updates to controlling your phone, your wristpiece is much more powerful now than it was when you received it. As the platform continues to grow, we’ll be sure to see even more innovative apps hit the market. It’s an exciting time to own this new technology!
If you’re not using a sweet custom watchface yet, check out our suggestions for the best.
Are there any other awesome watch apps you’ve used? What do you think of the ones on this list? Smartwatch owners, tell us with a comment!