Unsolicited app notifications on your smart watch can feel intrusive and irritating even if you have the patience of a saint. If however, like me, patience is not exactly your biggest virtue, it could be an annoyance of monumental proportions. Smartwatches can keep our generation more connected in real-time than any generation previously, but that blessing can quickly degenerate into a curse if you don’t do something about those dime-a-dozen notifications from the installed apps on your phone. Once you sync your watch to your phone, all those pesky notifications that were bothering you on your phone only further exasperates you because of all that buzzing you have to endure on your wrist. Thankfully though, with Android Wear, you can add certain apps to a ‘blacklist’ if you feel that their notifications hinder rather than help your productivity – as is the case with a vast majority of those ‘helpful reminders’.
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Officially, it’s called the “Block app notification list”. You can use it to block out some apps selectively or all apps en-masse from your watch to make sure that when you do get a notification, it’s actually something that’s worth getting notified about, like a scheduled meeting, and not just a reminder about the mundane. To do all of that, you can just swipe all the way over to the right of your screen, past the right-most cards and buttons, past the ‘Open on phone’ option and you’ll find what you’re looking for. Adding the errant app to the blacklist will keep it there till you go back over to your phone to change the setting. In the Android Wear companion app available on the play store, you can access the blacklist by clicking the “Gear” icon for settings in the top bar. The very first item on this screen is “Block app notifications”. You can add an app to your custom blacklist using the floating action button at the bottom of the screen, or you can remove one if you so desire by tapping the cross (X) next to that item.
However, as Android Wear is still in its formative stages, some issues still need to be ironed out and some more features added, like more refined controls, similar to the priority notifications settings for Android Lollipop notifications rather than just the overly simple allow or deny options available for now.