As a part of this job, I have the (depending on how you look at it) pleasure of setting up new Android devices more often than any normal human should. The process, which has become much easier and more automated on Lollipop, can be both tedious and exciting. On one hand, you have to sign-in to every single app all over again, but on the other, you get to start playing with a brand new phone or tablet. For the most part, the joy of using a brand new phone outweighs the 20-30 minutes it may take to set it up.
Over the years, my setup process has become much tighter, leaner, and more efficient. Instead of installing a hundred or so apps with each new device that comes across my desk, I often only install a select few apps that I can’t live without. Since I tend to spend only a couple of weeks with a phone during a review period before sending it back to its owner, I’ve realized that I probably don’t need three different Twitter apps and a package tracker and credit card managers and four different photo editors.
These days, when I setup a device, I can get get by with a group of specific apps that you wouldn’t typically find pre-installed on a phone. Obviously, I’m a huge Google services user, but those related apps are all installed before I boot a new phone for the first time. If we look outside of those (Gmail, Hangouts, Maps, etc.), here are the first 15 I install every time. (more…)
Orders of the LG G watch and Samsung Gear Live from Google Play are due to begin shipping very soon, so Google is doing everything it can to prepare for those arrivals. It is pretty clear that the first move was to get all sorts of popular apps on board with the Android Wear movement, have development teams prepare updates for those apps, and then feature them in a new, dedicated section on the Play store. That section is now live, along with a number of apps you probably use on a daily basis. (more…)
After yesterday’s announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Gear we heard the unfortunate official word from Samsung that their smartwatch would not run regular Android apps. Instead, Samsung would have to work with app developers to make useful applications that ran on their newest device. Don’t worry though, Samsung is a big enough company that they can draw in developers for their new smartwatch. They have announced 12 apps with launch with the Gear and that the number will eventually be up towards 70. (more…)
Runners and Pebble owners, the time has come for your new smartwatch to become a legitimate option as your running partner. Runkeeper updated this morning to include official support for the darling of Kickstarter, bringing real activity functionality to the watch that has for the most part been lacking since launch. In order to utilize Pebble with Runkeeper, all you need to do is pair your Pebble to your smartphone, update to the newest Runkeeper, and launch a new activity. Once launched, your Pebble should automatically display your progress (image above). (more…)