12 Android Wear Apps to Install Right Away on Your Smartwatch

Ben Stegner 15-01-2015

Google’s Android Wear line is the first big step into wearable technology. We’ve already helped you pick out a device Which Android Wear Smartwatch Is Best For You? In the market for an Android Wear smartwatch? Let's compare all the options available now and make the decision easy. Read More , and though there aren’t as many apps available for Wear as there are for your phone, there are still a few essentials you’ll want to install on your watch right away.


1. Slumber (Free)


Most Android Wear devices turn on to charge and display a screen showing the current battery level while doing so. If you’re charging your watch overnight, this light will be shining in your face, and on some watches the constant display has even caused screen burn-in.

Slumber simply blacks out your screen when your watch is charging so you don’t have to worry about any of that.

All you need to do after installing Slumber is run it a single time, and it will then take over and display a black watch face when charging. It’s not a perfect solution (it would be better to have the screen turned off completely) but it’s better than nothing and should be downloaded by any Wear owner.

2. Wear Mini Launcher (Free) [No Longer Available]



Out of the box, launching apps on your watch is annoying. You have to either say “Okay, Google, OK, Google: 20 Useful Things You Can Say to Your Android Phone Google Assistant can help you get a lot done on your phone. Here are a whole bunch of basic but useful OK Google commands to try. Read More Launch APP,” (not always an option if you’re in a quiet space) or swipe through three layers of menus (tedious at any time). Thankfully, there’s a much better solution: Wear Mini Launcher, which adds a slide-in menu accessible from anywhere on your watch. Slide over once to launch apps, and slide again to quickly toggle settings that are otherwise buried in menus.

The idea is similar to Swapps! for Android, and should really come standard on Wear. You probably won’t have as many apps on your watch as you do on your phone, but this is still an essential tool for any smartwatch owner.

3. Wear Battery Stats (Free)


Smartphone battery life is the subject of much debate; while task killers are a bad thing Why RAM Boosters and Task Killers Are Bad for Android Do Android RAM boosters really work? Here's what task killers and RAM boosters actually do to your Android device! Read More , there are some ways to ensure you get more out of a charge 10 Proven and Tested Tips to Extend Battery Life on Android Suffering from poor battery life on Android? Follow these tips to get more juice out of your Android device's battery. Read More . Certainly, if you have a rogue app that’s destroying your battery, identifying it is key Find out Which Apps Are Killing Your Android Battery If you're getting poor battery life on your device, you likely have an app abusing your battery in the background. Find out how to identify those apps and solve your battery problems. Read More , and Wear Battery Stats lets you do just that.


The app’s watch counterpart gives you a barebones version of what’s going on with your battery, but for the most details you’ll want to open the app on your phone. Here, you’ll be able to view the screen-on time (useful for knowing if your battery loss is due to usage or if something is running without you using it) and apps that have been active.


Battery life isn’t Android Wear’s strong point to begin with, but you check your gas mileage 3 Ways To Obtain Better Gas Mileage With Your Smartphone Fuel is a significant part of any vehicle’s overall cost to own. In some cases, money spent on gas can make up over half of your monthly car-related expenses. Even people who don’t drive often... Read More to be sure it’s satisfactory, so why not observe battery, too?

4. Facer ($1) / WatchMaker (Free, $1)



The default watch faces are okay, but we’ve showcased some alternative faces 6 Cool Watch Faces for Your Android Wear Smartwatch Default watch faces are okay, but customizing is even better. Let's check out some cool alternative faces for your Android smartwatch. Read More to make your watch your own, and you’ll need one of these apps to get started. If you’re creative, you can make your own design for your watch; if not, you’re still able to browse the ones made by others and select one that matches your style.

Facer and WatchMaker offer different styles, so for the most variety it’s best to pick them both up. Using a site like FaceRepo [Broken URL Removed], you can import new styles into one or both of the apps. With so many to choose from, you can have a new watch every week!

5. Calculator For Android Wear (Free)


This one isn’t terribly exciting, but most people use their phone as a calculator, so having one on your wrist saves you the trouble of digging your main device out of your pocket. It includes a second page with advanced functions should you need them.


Obviously, you won’t want to use this for calculus homework (that’s more the speed of Wolfram Alpha, which can do more than you think 10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know Wolfram Alpha Could Do I continue to be amazed by Wolfram Alpha and the way it crunches numbers around openly available data. The result – it shows us the world in a far more inter-connected and interesting way. It... Read More ), but for calculating a quick sale percentage, tip at a restaurant, or double-checking your math, having an accessible calculator is a good idea.

6. Find My Phone Android Wear (Free)


Apps that let you find your phone How To Find Your Android Phone Or iPhone In A Room Even On Silent Mode Here's the situation: Your phone is in the room, but you don't know where. These two apps let you yell or whistle to get your phone back. Read More are common, but since your watch is paired with your phone, it’s a great idea to be able to ring your phone right from your wrist.

Simply opening the app and tapping “Find!” on your watch will ring your phone as long as it’s connected to your watch via Bluetooth 6 Top Uses For Bluetooth On Your Android Phone Bluetooth has been an impressive wireless technology to enable all sorts of cool functionality with multiple gadgets. While it was rather limited during the early stages of its life, Bluetooth has evolved to be capable... Read More (so this app is designed for when you lose your phone in the couch cushions, not when it’s stolen). The app also allows you to set a notification on both your watch and phone that sounds when they’re disconnected. That way, if you’re about to leave the house with your watch but not your phone, you’ll be alerted before you make a silly mistake.

The app’s basic functionality is free, but to customize the ringtone and other behavior you’ll have to cough up $2 for a premium in-app purchase.

7. Wear Apps Tracker (Free)


When you install an app on your Android phone (perhaps one of the best The Best Android Apps on the Google Play Store for 2019 Looking for the best Android apps for your phone or tablet? Here's our comprehensive list of the best apps for Android. Read More ), 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 Using Tinder? Avoid These 8 Common Mistakes Here are common Tinder mistakes you should avoid, from falling for fake profiles to sabotaging your potential matches. Read More ) 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.


8. Wear Speaker (Free)


Your watch allows you to answer and initiate calls The 5 Best Free Calling Apps for Making Free Phone Calls Free calling apps provide free phone calls and texting. Here are some great options for Android and iPhone. Read More 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 What Are In-App Purchases & How Can I Disable Them? [MakeUseOf Explains] "I can’t believe it!" my cousin said to me the other day, "someone’s just bought a $10 in-app purchase on my mother’s phone, and she doesn’t even know what I’m talking about!". Sounds familiar? How... Read More 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.

9. Aeris Wear Weather (Free) [No Longer Available]


Android Wear comes with weather cards built-in to Google Now, but weather aficionados Predict The Future (Of Weather) With These 7 Awesome Weather Apps [Android] Correctly predicting the weather is about as easy as eating a handful of screws, yet we keep attempting it day after day. Sometimes we get it right; most times we don’t. However, weather information is... Read More 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.

10. IFTTT (Free)


IFTTT is an awesome productivity tool The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use the Web's Most Powerful Tool Like a Pro If This Then That, also known as IFTTT is a free web-based service to get your apps and devices working together. Not sure how to build your applet? Follow along with this guide. Read More , and on Android it forms an automation dynamic duo with Tasker Tasker and IFTTT: The Perfect Automation Duo For Android Tasker automates anything you can think of on your Android device and IFTTT automates Web services. Used together, there's nothing you can't do. Read More . If you have the app installed on your phone, the Wear counterpart is already set up as well.

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 Kickstart Your Smart Home With 4 Easy Projects Creating a smart home might sound like a huge undertaking, and it can be difficult to know where to start. But it's not as hard as you might think! Read More 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.

11. WeaRSS (Free)


RSS, a web technology that provides instant updates for sites you care about (see our RSS guide for more Newspaper 2.0 - Your Guide to RSS There’s a web technology that can find information on almost any subject on the Internet and spoon-feed it to you. With RSS you can read every article offered by any particular blog. Read 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 Pocket 5 For Android: A Polished Way To Save Content To Read Later The Web is full of cats. Seriously, they're everywhere. So are other silly memes and many other things conspiring to steal your attention. So how do you make time to read the good stuff? Read More .

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.

12. Runtastic Running & Fitness (Free, $5)


Runtastic is a top fitness app Stay Fit: The 5 Best Quick Workout Apps For Android Need to find the time to exercise? These apps can help you with only a few minutes of your day. Read More , 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.

Trick Out Your Android Smartwatch

This isn’t a comprehensive list, as plenty of awesome apps are available for Android Wear, but these are the basic ones anyone should install right away. Do have a look at these Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch apps, if that’s your device.

And if you’re not using a custom watch face yet, check out our favorite Android Wear watchface recommendations 6 Cool Watch Faces for Your Android Wear Smartwatch Default watch faces are okay, but customizing is even better. Let's check out some cool alternative faces for your Android smartwatch. Read More !

Related topics: Android Wear, Smartwatch.

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    August 14, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Hi..good morning..i am Josiah..i have a smartwatch GT08...But IT CAME with no internet, no whatsapp...and Facebook Twitter and Google isn't working.

  2. Greg
    December 7, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Do you know of any apps to alter the Android Wear colour scheme? I'm red/green colourblind and struggle to answer/reject calls!

    • Ben Stegner
      December 7, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      I've never considered something like this, Greg.

      I just had a look around and from what I found, the only colorblind apps are ones that help distinguish colors or simulate colorblindness for those who aren't. However, in Android 5.0 and above, Google included an option to toggle colors for folks who are colorblind. If you go to Settings > Accessibility, you can toggle it.

      I don't know if this will change Android Wear, but if it doesn't, this is something they need to fix. Thanks for bringing it up.

      • Greg
        December 7, 2016 at 10:44 pm

        Thanks Ben, if never seen those settings before.

        I've given them a try Annes it doesn't seem to affect the Wear phone app unfortunately, but it does render the rest of the phone uuuuuuuugggggglllly! I can't see how that can help any colour-blind person! I'm a big Clash Royale fan and after applying the filters, it makes it almost unusable for me!

        Back to the drawing board ?

  3. Pugwash
    January 15, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I uninstalled Wear Battery Stats recently as the latest version of the Android Wear app includes battery stats in the settings.

    • Ben S
      January 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      I didn't notice this new feature until you said something. The app is getting better all the time!

      Nice job noticing; thank you!