Android Wear may still be new, but it’s beginning to come into its own with software updates and the latest version, Android Wear 5.1, seems to have brought a much-needed functionality to the platform. This is in regards to notification cards that show up on the watch screen. Prior to Android Wear 5.1, if you wanted to get rid of a notification card on your Android Wear device, you’d have to basically batch dismiss the entire set of notifications from any app which you had multiple notifications from. For example, had there been 15 notifications for your email then you’d need to dismiss the entire bulk of them. That is no longer the case with certain applications as Android Wear 5.1 now lets users dismiss individual cards in the stack.
Mind you this isn’t applicable to all apps, Gmail still handles things the way it was before, but apps like Inbox now let users dismiss cards individually which is a vast improvement, and Inbox is surely not the only app which will implement this. In many cases, you may not mind dismissing an entire collection of notification cards, as seeing them pop up on your watch may serve as just a notifier and reminder to check them on your smartphone at a later point. For those who like to interact with the notifications on the watch though, dismissing all cards when you might only want to dismiss one or two had proven a bit inconvenient.
Individual card dismissal is not the only new thing with Android Wear 5.1 though, as you now get notifications when new Android Wear apps have been installed. Think about how you already see the notifications for installed apps on your Android device, and it’s essentially the same on Android Wear 5.1, just in the card format. The notification also gives you the ability to launch the Android Wear app from it alerting you with a “touch to open” message, so if you install something you’ll immediately want to use you can open it up from the notification card that comes in after the installation is completed. Not sure whether or not the apps you’re interested in have Android Wear support? Simply installing it on your Android Wear 5.1 device will now tell you. These new additions are certainly not groundbreaking, but users should be able to see Android Wear as feeling a little more robust with them in place.