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Android Wear Weekly: Three Ways to Curb Notifications

May 8, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Android Wear has come on leaps and bounds, and the Android 5.1 update that has launched with the Watch Urbane and heading to other devices soon looks even better. One thing that Android Wear gets mostly right, is notifications. Not enough of them are actionable from your wrist, but that ultimately rests with the developers of those apps. Either way, you’re set to get lots of them on your wrist, and while that’s great, it can become overwhelming. We don’t need or want absolutely everything to make its way to our wrists, but thankfully Android Wear has some tricks up its sleeve, even more so if you have the Android 5.0 Lollipop update on your smartphone. Let’s take a look at three ways to clam things down throughout the day.

Priority Notifications

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Working in conjunction with settings made on your smartphone, you can use this setting to only let certain notifications through. You can get started with this by heading on over to your system settings on your smartphone and find the notification settings. In my example, I have a daily cut-off point from 10PM to 7AM the next morning. I’ve set this up to only allow calls and messages, which means all other apps don’t bother me during this time. It’s a great feature and one I like, too. I get text messages from friends and if someone needs to reach me, I’ll know about it. At 10PM, my notifications slim right down, but I can also trigger this from the pulldown menu on my watch and tapping again to select “Priority Only”. This will apply the settings you made on your phone for your watch whenever you like. I use it when I’m out with friends to cut out work stuff, and it helps me get to sleep, too.

Theater ModeAH Moto 360-Theater Mode-2

This might be an obvious one to many of you, but it’s a useful one to remember. It’s polite to enter a theater – be it the kind with moving pictures or one you might with real people on stage – with your phone silenced or turned off. Now, an Android Wear watch is an extension of your smartphone, but it’s also a watch. And if you need to check on the time for whatever reason, you still need a watch, right? This is where Theater Mode comes in. It shuts down all notifications buzzing on your wrist and turning the display on full, however they’re still there if you really have to be that guy and check those fresh Tweets. Also, it’ll function just fine as a watch, you just wake it up and the screen will light up to show the time. To get to Theater Mode, just pull down from the top of the Android Wear watch face (as you would to check the battery) and then swipe to the left and turn Theater Mode on. To turn it off, you just do the same. Simple, and effective.

Block Certain Apps

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This is what makes Android Wear quite so flexible, you can just go ahead and block apps if you’d like. I have most of my apps unblocked, but news apps brining alerts to my wrist is something I could do without, the same goes for games and so on. Luckily, all you need to do is to open up the settings in Android Wear and find the apps you want to block and add them to the list. This will prevent those apps from creating a card on your Android Wear device. Reversing this is again, pretty easy.