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First 3rd-party Launcher Released for Android Wear Smartwatches

Wear Mini Launcher

Third party launchers are some of our favorite applications, so now that they are hitting Android Wear devices, you can imagine how excited we are. This weekend, the first custom launcher hit Google Play for Android Wear, titled Wear Mini Launcher.

With Mini Launcher, users can quickly access any application and system setting they have on their smartwatch. To access, all you do is swipe to the right from the top left corner. A semi-transparent drawer will slide out, revealing helpful shortcuts to whatever you might need. 

To get it running, simply install the application from Google Play onto your smartphone, then open the app on your phone. The extension to Android Wear is instant, meaning that once you open the app on your phone, the launcher is now running on your smartwatch.

The launcher is free to download from Google Play, so if you are the lucky owner of an Android Wear device, go check it out.

Play Link

  • Indianajonze

    i said it before and i’ll say it again…i’m going to get pretty sick of these dedicated wear apps (watch faces, launchers, etc) clogging up my phone soon…

    • Daistaar

      I agree! I made a Wear folder on my S4 and just chucked everything in there. Still annoying though. What’s the 4gigs for if not storing the applications?

  • Patrick Crumpler

    Does not work for me. Gotta uninstall and see what’s up

  • Peter Blanco

    G3 wallpaper please ;)

  • Inquizitor

    I think I sent this tip in?

  • Mech_Engr_09

    You’ve been using the G3 for awhile now Tim. I’m curious, how is the batter life compared to other phones that you’ve used. I have the m8, but I’m leaning towards selling it and getting the G3.

    • Travis Erickson

      Was watching a MKBHD video where he talked about it. Had lots of good things to say about the battery.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      Battery life is pretty awesome. Easily a solid day and a half of good usage. :)

      • Mech_Engr_09

        Okay cool! I’m probably gonna pick it up with the G Watch when Verizon has it. I know you guys aren’t too sold on the design on the G Watch, but I’m looking at it from a functionality standpoint. I’ll get the 360 when it comes out because well, it’s a watch, so it will be nice to have a couple different designs. I’d say I’m a heavy user, I’ve just heard some talks of it heating up a lot.

    • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

      My phone has been off the charger since 6am, brightness at 70 with battery saver on, 54 mind of screen on time. I’d say battery is no different than any other phone. Not awesome though. And I def wouldn’t agree with a day and a half unless you don’t use your phone at all.

      • Mech_Engr_09

        Yeah, but I never have my brightness turned up that high. I just stick it on auto and let it go to work. I was very happy with the G2 batter life, but the added bonus of removable batteries is what sets them apart. I have to say though, since putting the GPE rom on my m8 I have been getting much, much better battery life. I’m not sure if I owe that to the ROM or battery guru haha.

      • Aooga

        Is that….is that times new roman??? NOOOOOOOO :)

        • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

          Serif, it has a couple different fonts to choose from

  • Ted Ockels

    Dat wallpaper… can I have it?

    • Saul S.

      Yes, please.

    • cns2007

      That and the name of the clock widget would be nice. I know I’ve seen it before, but can’t recall the name.

      • stabone

        Timely. Great Widget for it.

        • cns2007

          Thanks

    • Tyler

      I’m pretty sure the wallpaper is from the Dash UI icon pack (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.launchertheme.kxnt.dash . You can see it in one of the screenshots.

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    • 213ninja

      i was thinking the same thing………..

  • PoisonApple31

    I love this app! The brightness bar is a nice touch too.

    • 213ninja

      which wear device do you have?

      • Giancarlo Waghelstein

        Looks like the Samsung galaxy wear with the metal bezel underneath the watch body

      • PoisonApple31

        I have the LG G-Watch.

        • 213ninja

          how is it compared to Gear?

          • Mech_Engr_09

            I would say just go for whichever one is more appealing to you design-wise because the software is the same. The heart rate monitor is a gimmick to me at this point because I have a standalone polar watch for when I’m at the gym. As far as screens, I’d have to see them both in person right next to each other to really be able to say if there is any difference in quality or not.

          • 213ninja

            oh i have a gear2 now that i like, i just happened to know PA31 had a Gear from other posts, and wanted to get a logical non-biased opinion, since i’m undecided as to whether i need android wear in my life lol.

            the HRM on the gear2 is hit and miss. far from a gimmick imo, it works. but if you sweat at all it seems to interfere, so i don’t like that i have to take it off and wipe it down mid-workout sometimes, but the numbers seem pretty accurate compared to my manual pulse readings, which i’ve been doing for years out of habit. i need to do more research about how Wear handles fitness, since that’s a big feature i’m into.

          • PoisonApple31

            Google Now integration is awesome and navigation is neat on the wrist, but this feels like it deserves a $100 price tag for what it is now. With that being said, I feel like the voice recognition is very accurate, which was a pleasant surprise for me. I have already been in some situations where this proved useful and S-Voice is just half baked and limited on the Gear. I choose to have my G-Watch screen be on all the time, which I like more than I thought I would.

            Charging the G-Watch each night isn’t so bad thanks to the magnets on the charging dock. I don’t use wireless charging at all, so the dock doesn’t bother me. I could probably make it a day and half without charging, but I charge each night so it won’t die at work the next day. I noticed the Gear respects my company’s Exchange security settings (won’t let me read the e-mail on the watch), but the G-Watch does let me do it (without any configuration) – which I like.

            Considering I have been using both watches to mainly monitor my schedule
            each day and control the music player, both are excellent. The G-Watch
            will show the album art in the background which I really like too.

            I like the screen on the Neo better, but I would never know the difference unless the two were next to each other.

            Despite the lack of features compared to the Gear, I am really enjoying this minimalistic approach of the G-Watch. I think Android Wear has some serious potential.

            Two must have apps for Android Wear are Wear Mini Launcher and Wearable Widgets.

            The only thing I really miss about my Neo watch is the ability to hook up bluetooth headphones and listen to music without my phone and battery life.

            I have used the pedometers on both watches and I feel one is no more accurate than the other. The health stuff doesn’t really do anything for me.

          • 213ninja

            Thanks for that, much appreciated!! I’m on the fence about Wear, just trying to do as much research as I can right now…thanks again.

          • Christopher Moore

            I’ve grown to like the LG watch over the Samsung but I will wait until the price hits under $100. I could just whip my phone out for free until that time comes. Should be plenty of refurbs hitting the market in the next month or two.