G Watch AH-5

Android Headliner: Apps Will Make Android Wear More Useful; We Just Have to be Patient

July 11, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Is it ironic that the new Android Wear smartwatches, items that tell the time will get better with age? Not really, as the same can be said of any new platform, really. After all, when Android launched the apps available weren’t amazing and well, we all remember how ugly Android 1.5 and 1.6 were, right? Fast-forward to today and Android is everywhere, it’s the most popular mobile platform and while it’s already on smartphones and tablets all over the world it’s now hit our wrists and will be invading our TVs and our cars later this year. When talking about Android Wear, the G Watch  and the Gear Live are both available right now, but the platform is very much in its infancy and if you want anything more than a great inbox for your wrist, you’re going to need to wait.

There are apps available for Android Wear already – including yes, a Flappy Bird clone – like an app that shows your bank balance on your wrist and even Tinder is compatible now. However, for me there really hasn’t been an app to launch with something that really adds new functionality to the watch. 1Weather is cool and all, and is a nice alternative to the same old Google Now card. There’s a calculator available, which makes more sense than it did back in the 80s, but waiting for apps and more support is the fun thing about being an early adopter, right?

If you’re keen to keep on checking when a new developer has given us a great new app – as I am – then an app called ‘Wear Store’ is for you. This nifty little app presents you just Wear apps and while you can bring up the same menu from the Android Wear app itself, this seems to be an easier option and it seems to be a little more up-to-date as well. There’s also a great community on Google Plus for Android wear that’s getting quite busy and overall, it seems like a big community of developers and users is going to form around Android Wear. This is great, as the more people that get behind Android Wear, the more apps and the more support users like us will get.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the promised PayPal app (which recently just hit Tizen-powered Gear 2s) as well as some sort of quick balance app, my own bank doesn’t allow root users to use their official app (thanks, Barclays) so I use BillGuard instead which recently just launched in the UK. Adding Wear to said app would be great and instantly make it more useful for me, I like to keep on top of my finances, but logging in on my phone is a real pain one I want one, single, simple piece of information. This is where Wear (see what I did there?) will take off, by offering glanceable information and cold hard facts when we want them and when we need them. Google through Now already gives us a lot of that, but right now Wear is still learning to walk and while we might have to hold its hand a little bit, that’s okay. After all, if you build it, they will come.