This article is part of the Android Wear series:
- How to Use Android Wear Part 1: Navigating the UI
- How to Use Android Wear Part 2: Customization
- 8 of the Best Third-Party Android Wear Watch Face Apps on Google Play
- 10 of the Best Android Wear Apps You Should Install on Your Smartwatch
Android Wear has become the first platform to truly revolutionize what an extension of a mobile app should look like on a wearable device. With that, and some not-so-bug-free starts, through every consecutive upgrade of hardware, we see the software, apps, and code behind it improving. Now more than ever wearable devices are able to make users more productive as they live their daily lives. And, while not all functions should be performed on a wearable interface, we’ll go over some of the best that are. The intention is to never bog down your device with seemingly cool but useless apps but to enhance your day-to-day life. Let’s take a look at what Android Wear has to offer in the field of apps.
Being productive starts with taking a moment for mindfulness. Much like Apple’s “Breathe” app for Apple Watch, Calm walks you through mindfulness and meditation excersises to help better yourself and help you feel refreshed. It includes daily programs that feature sounds and scenes to help you achieve a serene state of mind. It’s free on the Google Play Store but does offer in app purchases.
Recordr allows you to record surrounding sounds with just a couple taps. It is a perfect companion for lectures, meetings, and everything in between. The user interface is fluid and modern – making it a breeze to use – which puts it on our top 10 list. Perhaps best of all, the app supports the automatic upload of recorded audio files to Google Drive where they can then be listened to, shared, or edited.
This one is pretty cool. Leave your wallet in your pocket, and pay for your coffee with ease. Stocard allows you to store gift cards and payment cards with a barcode on your Android Wear, so the cashier can just scan the barcode on your wrist. Easy in and out. Stocard won’t support everything, but it is definitely a necessity on a wearable.
Since its debut as a mobile app, Shazam has seen great success on wearable platforms. Just tap to identify a song, and you’re good to go. It’s great for those quick moments where you simply don’t have enough time to use any other method.
Get around town with a couple taps on the wrist. For days when it is cold outside, keep your gloves on as you track your driver. You won’t be needing to use your smartphone. Truly a reflection of modern technology, Lyft’s Android Wear app is a breeze to use and aids in the fluidity of modern life. As far as ride-sharing services are concerned, Lyft is one of the only ones that officially supports Android wear. There are some Android Wear apps for Uber, but they aren’t supported by Uber, so proceed with caution.
6. Google Keep
Take some notes – take all of the notes. Google Keep works seamlessly with your phone, and by just saying “Okay, Google” you can take notes right from your wrist. As someone who gets ideas throughout the day that can’t be attended to immediately, this app does a great job of allowing for the free flow of thought. There are other Android Wear note taking apps out there, but Google Keep takes the cake as the best due to its overall simplicity and user interface.
Control your music and leave your phone in your pocket. It is that simple. Changing the volume up or down, skipping tracks, and anything you’d expect from the phone counterpart are all available at the wrist. Also, Spotify offers gorgeous album art, so you can actually see your music as you scroll though your library.
Pick up another language on the go. Duolingo is a non-invasive app as it uses flashcards and mini lessons to educate that are completed within a few seconds. You won’t be holding your wrist up for long, and before you know it, you will be speaking fluently.
1Weather is sleek and keeps the forecast at your fingertips with a next level simplicity. The weather cards feature a backdrop of the current conditions, so you can visualize the weather outside. Not only that, but it also gives a deep insight into the upcoming temperatures. It is a must-have for even the most casual Android Wear user.
10. Run Keeper
Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or a casual mile jogger, RunKeeper does just that – keeps your running stats and presents them at a glance. Monitor your time, time remaining, calories burned, and of course, distance traveled. A perk to visualizing stats at a glance is the added sense of stamina and goal completion that comes with it, making Run Keeper a great addition for your Android Wear.
As the Android Wear ecosystem continues to develop and evolve, the nature and capabilities of apps will change. Even with that in mind, the aforementioned will reign as necessities.