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…)

DEAL: Moto 360 for as Little as $149 at Woot

Would you pull the trigger on your first Android Wear smartwatch if it was the Moto 360 and you only had to pay $150? That’s the scenario in front of you today, thanks to a deal from Woot. The Moto 360, which is probably still the best looking smartwatch to date (and just received Android 5.1), can be had for $150 with a leather band or $180 with a metal band.

At retail, the Moto 360 with a leather band normally runs $250; with a metal band, you are looking at $300. Not a bad deal.

The deal includes a 1-year warranty from Motorola.

Woot Link  (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…)

Beautiful ‘Time Store’ App Updated With New Watch Faces, Features

The Time Store app in Google Play received an update over the weekend, bringing additional watch faces for users to play with, as well as new features when applying a face. If you haven’t heard of Time Store, know that the app lets you scroll through different watch faces, some of which are free to use, others being $0.99, but the idea is that it’s your one-stop shop for Android Wear watch faces.  (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…)

5 Android Wear Watch Faces to Try: 70s, Minmo, Mustache, SpecOps, and Candy Shop

When I look for an Android Wear watch face, I try to find those that remind me of traditional watch faces or at the very least, fit nicely onto a round display to make the device on my wrist feel less futuristic and more classic. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the technology behind a smartwatch, it’s just that I want the watch on my wrist to look like a watch first before getting to all the extra notification, fitness tracking, and other stuff.

Once I find a watch face I like, I tend to stick with it for a while because I feel like there are few really classy options out there on Android Wear. I don’t know why, but watch face makers seem to want to cram as much crap into these things as is possible, when they really should be doing the opposite. A watch, at least an analog watch, should show you the time and date, and then maybe a battery percentage to keep you informed throughout the day. The rest of the stuff is just getting in the way of a great looking watch.

So after spending some time recently to see what’s new in the Android Wear watch face world, here are five I think you will appreciate.  (more…)