How to: Use Always-On Apps With Android Wear

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.  (more…)

Tip: Google Opinion Rewards is Still a Great Way to Earn Cash to Pay for Apps

Back in November of 2013, Google introduced an app called Google Opinion Rewards. We haven’t talked about the app much since, but because it has become a great source of funding for app purchases (like icon pack hotness), we figured it was time for a reminder that it exists. A lot has happened in two years, plus many of you are new around these parts and may not have known that Google was even doing a rewards/survey app that you could earn cash from.  (more…)

Tip: Play Music Update Gives You Specific Control Over Music That Goes to Your Android Wear Device

Tucked away inside the newest update to Google Play Music (v6.0.1942S) are greatly improved controls over the downloaded albums or playlists that sync with your Android Wear device, should you have one connected. A user over at reddit noticed that after updating, you no longer just have the all or nothing option, where the check of a box told Play Music to either send every single thing you have downloaded to your watch (starting with the most recent) or your watch gets nothing. Instead, you can tell Play Music which albums and playlists you want sent over.  (more…)

How to: Setup and Use WiFi on Android Wear

The Android 5.1.1 update for Android Wear introduced what I would consider to be the most important new feature since the platform launched. I’m talking about WiFi connectivity of course, which lets you have some freedom from your phone and the Bluetooth connection that previously tied phone to watch.

With WiFi connectivity on your watch, you could leave your phone on the other side of your house or office, lose that Bluetooth connection, yet still sync notifications to your wrist. You still get to interact with notifications, respond to messages via voice, and launch Google voice actions. This really is one of those game-changing type features because it allows your watch to be less reliant on having your phone nearby at all times.  (more…)

Tip: Save Yourself 2 Minutes of Hell by Skipping the Android Wear Intro Tour

If you own an Android Wear device, you know how finicky the device can be, especially if you have even considered switching it to a new phone. In fact, every time I try to attach an Android Wear watch to another phone (or attempt to trick it into pulling an OTA), I have to factory reset it. It’s a massive pain in the ass to me, but then again, most people probably won’t be switching their watch over to another phone as regularly as I do.

But let’s say you do switch more often than any normal human should. You probably can’t stand the tutorial that pops up each and every time you reset your watch, right? You know, the frustrating-to-navigate tour that includes confusing swiping instructions and a random temperature screen that still isn’t even a real thing. Guess what? You can skip it!  (more…)

Tip: How to Get Rid of “Invert Colors” Quick Settings Tile on Your Moto X

This might be the most random of posts, but because a number of you are noticing a new “Invert Colors” option in your quick settings pull-down on the Moto X (2nd gen) within the last day, we wanted to touch base on the topic. Yes, for whatever reason, a number of you started seeing the button yesterday and are wondering why it’s there and how you can get rid of it. While we don’t know why it is randomly showing up for users who have never touched the option before, we can at least help most/some of you get rid of it.  (more…)

Tip: Chrome Beta 44 Flag Gives New Tab Screen Icons Instead of Thumbnail Previews, Looks Great

Tucked inside the latest Chrome Beta for Android (v44.0.2403.30) is a Flag that turns the thumbnail previews on your “New Tab” screen into icons. You can see it in action in the shot above. How clean is that?

On the flip side, you have the default setting pictured below, which shows those thumbnails, to let you know where you last left your most recently/often visited sites.  (more…)

Chrome’s Touch to Search is Awesome, But No, It Isn’t Google Now on Tap

Just over a week ago, Chrome for Android received an update to version 43.0.2357.78 that included a feature called Touch to Search. If you have used the Chrome Beta within the last several months, you know exactly what this feature is. If you haven’t, well, you have probably emailed us within the last couple of days thinking that Chrome is now capable of doing the recently announced Google Now on Tap magic that was introduced at Google I/O. We get why you would think that, because Touch to Search is quite awesome, but no, it’s not exactly Now on Tap.

Still, let’s talk about!  (more…)