With each passing day Android Wear inches closer to becoming a more robust and fully featured platform for wearables, something which is made ever the more possible with a growing list of apps. As of now there are currently over 4,000 Apps for Android Wear, with Google promising many more on the way as the year continues. As Android Wear evolves though, the apps which have added support for the platform have to evolve as well to accommodate the new capabilities of Android Wear, something which Runtastic is doing with their latest version of the app, with Runtastic updating to version 5.9.2.
With Android Wear 5.1 Google introduced always on mode support for applications, but this is something which apps have to implement in their app for the user to be able to take advantage of the feature. Always On mode isn’t something that is entirely useful 100% of the time, as you don’t want apps to be on when you’re at the theater watching a film. That’s what Theater mode is for, so the watch doesn’t light up every time you turn your wrist. A fitness app like Runtastic though is a great example of something which could utilize Always On mode and have it be a great function as things will always be visible, something which those who exercise while wearing their Android Wear device might want to have.
As stated by Runtastic the Always On feature is baked right in so as long as your Android Wear watch is already running the latest version of the software, which is Android Wear 5.1, then once Runtastic is updated to version 5.9.2 Always On just works once you open up Runtastic. You might think having apps on all the time on your watch face would be detrimental to the battery, and it would be if the display never altered the colors of the apps, but once you open up Runtastic and the card displays on screen, after a few seconds of no interaction it will dim to a black display with white font of all the apps details to help you conserve the battery this way you can still see the information without draining the battery life too quickly. If you use Runtastic and you own an Android Wear device with 5.1, you should be able to take advantage of the new Always On support immediately.