It’s been an interesting few weeks for Android Wear, what with the Huawei Watch, second-gen Moto 360 and new ZenWatch 2 all hitting shelves within a few weeks of each other. Reviews of these devices are pouring in, and our own Huawei Watch review is up already, with a Moto 360 review coming very soon. If you’ve just jumped aboard with Android Wear, you’ll no doubt be looking for some new apps and watch faces. Well, each month we take a look at 10 of the best new apps and faces for you to try out, and this month is no exception.
Gramophone Watch Face
If you liked the cute look of the Chromecast Audio and its nod to the vinyl records of old, then you’ll like the Gramophone Watch Face. It’s definitely a simple affair, but if you’re pretty au fait with analog watches and you want something low-key yet a little playful, this will suit you and your style pretty well. There could be more options on offer though, that’s for sure.
Wear Messenger is one of those rare apps that lives up to its name; designed as a way to get at least some messaging done on your watch, this neat little app includes a keyboard and pre-defined messages. It has four different types of keyboard built into the app and supports other keyboards like Minuum and can accept voice input, too. It also features a list of emoji, making it fairly easy to choose which emoji you want to send and just flick it off. This won’t be for everyone, but if you want to actually get some texting done on your wrist, then this is a good option.
Lightr – Longer Backlight
Lightr is not the first app of its kind, and it serves a relatively simple purpose; it keeps your smartwatch running bright for a little longer than the default options allow. What’s nice about this however, is that the free version doesn’t pester you with ads or anything, but does limit you to just a 1 minute max, the premium version will allow you to keep the screen on for 5 minutes at most. Granted, this is a surefire way to burn battery quick, but it’s easily turned on or off and is most useful for those times you want an app to stay open as you do something like running or navigation.
Wi-Fi Rabbit is a different approach to monitoring your Wi-Fi networks, and it’s recently been updated with support for Android Wear. This means you can use the cute, more playful Wi-Fi Rabbit to keep an eye on your Wi-Fi networks and connection states. Since Android 5.1.1, Wear smartwatches have had support for Wi-Fi so this is nice little app that joins the party a little late.
Exercise Timer is not just a great smartwatch app, but a good app overall. It recently got updated with an Android Wear element, which syncs to your phone or tablet to let you know when to rest and when to continue, and you can play and pause directly from your wrist. This is a neat app that doesn’t do much, but therefore lets you get on with whatever exercises you like and keep track of how long you’ve been working at it, and remind you to rest between sets and so on.
Let’s face it, making a list that’s just for groceries inside of something like Google Keep or OneNote is a little excessive, and it gets your main notebook clogged up with inane references to the right and wrong kind of juice. MyGrocery has been around for some time now, but has just been updated with a pretty great Android Wear component, which makes it simple to choose from certain shopping lists and makes it an absolute breeze to kill off items you’ve thrown into your cart.
Dieterist Watch Face
When it comes to watches, Dieter Rams is a name that many watch enthusiasts will know well. A pioneer in minimal, yet pleasing designs, Rams and Braun created some of the best-looking watches of the later 20th century. Dieterist, is a simple watch face that draws inspiration from Rams and his work, allowing users to experience a simple, yet pleasing analog watch face on any Android Wear smartwatch. These will work wonders with a black Moto 360!
TALKEY – SMS on Android Wear
There are a lot of good options for SMS options on Android Wear out there, but Talkey is a fresh start. There’s a good app to change all the predefined messages, and the app offers up more natural responses to texts that come in. It’s only just launched in beta, and is only available in English, but for a different approach to doing things, this is well worth checking out.
JorSay is a way of compensating for the lack of a speaker inside of the majority of Android Wear watches on the market today. It essentially lets you choose which apps you want JorSay to read aloud, and when you get a notification on your wrist, you can tap to have it read out loud by your phone, This is perhaps going to be best for those in the car, or those with their phone on their desk, but might seem a little weird in public.
The Blackboard Watchface is something that will appeal to those looking for a fully-featured watch face that’s also a little playful. Great for those who work in a school, or just those looking for a little nostalgia, this has a lot of decent features for a single watch face and makes use of the display with step count and the date as well as the time.