This morning, Google shared with us a list of recently updated apps that can all take advantage of Android Wear’s new always-on apps feature in 5.1. The feature is useful in situations where you may want to keep information from an app up on your screen, but you don’t necessarily want it blasting out in full color and brightness, eating up that tiny watch battery.
Always-on apps allow you to take advantage of your watch’s ambient or always-on mode, where your watch can dim itself to a black-and-white-heavy screen that conserves battery without fully turning off your display. By allowing apps to use this low-power mode, you could do things like keep your boarding pass up on your watch until the moment you need it, leave running information on display without having to dig for the running app while moving, or quickly view a shopping list.
As more apps build in always-on functionality, I think we will all find this new feature to be incredibly useful. For now, we want to make sure you all know how to activate it and have put together this quick tutorial.