The first two smartwatches running Android Wear launched earlier this summer, and while these are still early days for the platform, a number of apps are already available. Here are ten apps that people with a Wear watch can install to already get a good deal of functionality out of their investment.
1. Baby Time
Lock screens may slow down how quickly you can get to your content, but there are times where having them are necessary. If you hop in the shower, that Android Wear watch is going to spaz out with each drop of water. Or if you pick up a baby and allow their hands to wander, they can have quick a bit of fun with your accessory. Baby Time serves as a basic lock screen that’s potentially useful regardless of whether you have a kid. Just don’t think of it as a genuine lock screen, as it’s easy to circumvent.
2. Calendar for Android Wear
Calendar for Android Wear takes an entire calendar and makes it small enough to fit on a tiny watch screen. You can glance at the entire month or dive in to view a specific day’s events. The app is free to try out, but unlocking the full set of features will cost just under $2.
This may not come as too much of a surprise, but Evernote already has an app for Android Wear. Just give it an install to strap your notes and checklists to your wrist.
4. Find My Phone
If you misplace your phone, Find My Phone is an Android Wear app that can help you retrieve it with minimal searching. Just tap on the screen to have your handset send out an alarm. And if you wander too far away without realizing it, the watch will notify you that you’ve left the device its paired to behind.
LevelUp is a mobile payments company that lets customers shop at partnering businesses using their smartphone. With the current version of its Android app, Wear device owners can even pay with their wrist instead. Once the smartwatch pulls up the same barcode as the app, wearers simply slide their hand under the scanner.
6. Wear Calculator
Android Wear Calculator is pretty easy to grok. It lets you crunch numbers. On your wrist.
7. Wear Camera Remote
Wear Camera Remote turns your watch into your smartphone camera’s viewfinder. This way you can see what your camera sees, and if you want to take a picture of yourself with friends while the camera sits on a tripod, this should be just the tool you need to make sure everyone makes it into the shot.
8. Wear Mini Launcher
Out of the box, Android Wear doesn’t have a traditional launcher the way broader Android does. This makes sense considering that it’s designed to provide a different, supplemental experience. Yet for users who are having withdrawals, there’s Wear Mini Launcher, which provides shortcuts to certain Wear apps and launches them the good ol’ fashioned way.
9. Wear Unlock
Wear Unlock for Android Wear turns your smartwatch into a dedicated key for your phone. Whenever your watch is close enough to pair with the device, it will automatically unlock. This way you can save yourself from having to enter your password for the umpteenth time each day. It’s not a free app though, as it will set you back $1.99.
10. Wear Volume
Wear Volume lets you turn your handset’s volume up and down without having to pull it out of your pocket. It’s great if you need to adjust sound in a hurry, though that bright smartwatch display might not be appreciated in movie theaters. Better get to it before the movie starts.
This is just the beginning. There are more apps waiting in the Play Store for you to discover, and more options continue to pop up by the day. If you love an app that isn’t on this list, please share it with us below.