Best Android Wear apps
You've got yourself an Android Wear smartwatch, but you need to download a bunch of apps to make the money you've just spent worthwhile. That's why you're at the number one place to find the best apps you can download to use on your brand new wrist wear.
Last year, Google added over 4,000 new Android Wear apps to the Play Store to give your wrist even more functionality than ever before.
Whether you own a Huawei Watch, a Tag Heuer Connected, a Moto 360 or any other Android Wear watch, this list will give you the best selection of apps you can use to fly the flag of Google's wearable OS.
To help you avoid the real Android Wear junk, we've picked 40 of our favorites for you to download - so let us get started.
Spotify is now on Android Wear, and it was one of the most anticipated apps ever for the platform. At one stage we even included a third-party Spotify player on this list so you could listen to your tracks on your favorite streaming service.
Spotify's official app is a much better choice though that gives you access to your now playing feed as well as all the functions you'd expect such as a skip, forward and pause. You can even choose your playlists directly from your wrist so you won't need to take your phone out of your pocket to switch tracks.
One app we can imagine being useful for just about every Android Wear owner is TripAdvisor. Just like the mobile app, it lets you search for nearby restaurants, attractions and hotels.
Sure it cuts down the phone app experience a bit, but still lets you flick through 25 entries for each of those categories, and even check out the scores and summaries for a whole bunch of reviews for each place. Like all the best Wear apps, it doesn't feel like it chucks you out to the mobile phone app as soon as you try to do anything a bit more involved.
You really can make decisions right from TripAdvisor Wear edition. You'll need your phone to navigate to them, though.
Taking the fiddliness out of using Google Maps for directions from your Wear watch, CityMapper is a great pick. It lets you navigate straight to the Home and Work locations you've already specified in the mobile app, not to mention track any more complicated journeys already planned out in the app.
It means no more having to pull your phone out every 20ft just to check you've not missed a turn off. It'll also make you look much less like a tourist when you're trundling around the streets of a big city.
InstaWeather for Android Wear
Choose from multiple attractive weather faces, satellite view (visible and infrared) and have 24-hour forecasts a wrist lift away.
Receive notifications if a shower's heading your way, with distance details included. There's also the option to run in low power mode so your obsession with meteorology doesn't drain your battery.
You know the deal: swipe right to like, left to pass, like a horny modern day Roman Emperor. But what you might not know is that the phenomenon that is Tinder and Android Wear is a match made in heaven.
Just say "Start Tinder" to start swiping, send messages and view profiles all from the privacy of your wrist.
Duolingo on Android Wear lets you learn another language on the go, for free. You basically earn achievements by answering linguistic conundrums correctly in fun, bite-size lessons.
The Android Wear application keeps it simple, displaying flashcards for you to have a go at when you're, say, on the bus. Take enough bus rides and one day you'll realize you're fluent in French.
It may look like a complicated name, but IFTTT stands for "If This Then That". It lets you link your 'Channels' - i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Gmail etc - by creating 'Recipes'.
So, for instance, you can set things up so when you like an Instagram photo it's instantly saved to your Dropbox. You can do this, get alerts and more straight from your Android Wear device
Wear Audio Recorder
This app is handy for recording conversations, lectures and meetings, as well as any thoughts, song lyrics or poems that your mind may spring on you throughout the day.
It's all very simple, just start and stop the recording as you wish and then scroll through a list to revisit previous recordings. You can share, delete and rename them as you see fit, and it also works when the screen is off, for covert missions.
Google Keep is the other another note taking option for Android Wear for those who never got into Evernote.
Still, much like Evernote-- you can view and create notes on your Wear device. It's free and it's a simple note taking app for those who don't need a lot of bells and whistles. Let's just say the pen is going out of business.
You might imagine an Android Wear watch would be the worst way to read, well, just about anything. But Wear Reader takes a novel approach that works surprisingly well. It displays just one word on-screen at a time, flicking through them automatically at a rate you specify.
Gaze at it with even a teaspoon of concentration and you'll take the lot in. Able to take on ePUBs and Docx files alike you can use Wear Reader to read the Game of Thrones books if you like.
However, probably more likely, it'll also do the trick for those annoying word memos that pop-up at 5:25 pm. Just read them on the train with this.
Over a million Android users swear by this location-tracking app, which lets you keep in touch with friends and family, helping you safely find and notify of your exact whereabouts.
The Android Wear optimization lets you view any active Glympse simply by swiping, and you can easily send info to social media accounts and to your contacts without touching your phone.
Calculator For Android Wear
Harking back to the mathematical Casio wristwear of yore, which what many of us would consider our first foray into the world of the 'smartwatch', Calculator for Android Wear lifts the burden of complex sums and restaurant tip calculations from your phone and gifts the responsibility to your timepiece, complete with a stylish, clean design.
Web Browser for Android Wear
It was only a matter of time before someone released an app to let you browse the web on Web Browser for Android Wear. As you can imagine, the experience isn't great but there are some useful features for those who web browse frequently.
You can add and access bookmarks, read websites, and do other web browser things. You can also search the web using voice commands and it comes with a mini keyboard for those who are brave enough to try to type. It's not great, but it's a good start.
Evernote for Android Wear
Loads of you will be long-time Evernote fans and won't want to use Google Keep, the default note app for Wear devices.
Well, you needn't have to. Evernote for Android Wear lets you create notes through voice command, check off to-dos by tapping your watch or find notes by speaking the text that you're looking for. Simple and highly effective.
Guitar Tuner Wear
Microphones on watches aren't just there to make you feel weird and awkward in public as you tell your Wear device to remind you to call your mum later. Guitar Tuner Wear uses it to help you tune your guitar, simply enough.
Using its Auto setting, just twang the string of an electric or acoustic near it and the app will tell you the note it's closest to, as well as whether you need to tune up or down to really nail the exact tuning.
US$1.31 (£0.81, about AU$1.40)
Take all the settings from your phone that you often need to flip on and off quickly, such as airplane mode, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and silent mode to name just a few, and transfer them to your watch face in one handy group.
You can also check your battery life and see how much data you're using, all on the same screen.
Wear Battery Stats
Speaking of battery, battery life on Android Wear is all over the place. At times, it can last for days or you might need to charge your watch thrice a day.
With Wear Battery Stats, you can see your Wear battery stats and see if there are any apps that could be causing all of that battery drain. It'll also send notifications when your battery is at a certain level so you know to get it to a charger soon.
Wear Mini Launcher
Opening and using an app on an Android Wear device can be fiddly; this takes the hassle away by letting you quickly launch any app without heaps of scrolling and swiping.
It also helps you quickly access settings, such as brightness, Wi-Fi and ringtones for your smartphone, while granting access to loads of customization options. Hundreds of thousands of downloads can't be wrong.
Find My Phone
Just because you may not always need your phone these days, you still want it nearby at all times. Stray too far from it and, thanks to this app, your Wear watch will start buzzing.
Tap "tap to find!" and, even when on silent, your phone will launch into the alarm and visual signals you've set it up with, leading you quickly back into its metallic, cold embrace.
WatchMaker Premium Watch Face
US$3.99 (£2.49, about AU$4.31)
Build up a collection of watch faces for your Wear device, complete with animations, calendars, multiple time zones, stopwatches, countdowns to special occasions… anything you can think of. There are thousands to choose from and up to eight new designs are added to the collection each week.
Wear Store for Wear Apps
If you've just got your Wear device you'll probably go to the Google Play store to have a browse, or you can come to us, but you should also download Wear Store, a handy service that lays out all the Wear apps in easy-to-navigate categories, from time added, name, rating, function and ratings. It also has video reviews and handy tips.
An unofficial Wear version of the late-70s Japanese arcade classic, Invaders will keep you hooked for hours. All you have to do is tap to move the spaceship and fire in a bid to destroy all aliens before they reach the ground.
Your spaceship can take two extra hits before being destroyed and there are hidden modes to be uncovered.
This app spells the end to leaving the house without your phone, as when you and your handset become unbearably far apart your watch will start buzzing in a mad panic.
It also doubles as a phone locator; just say "OK Google, start Phone Finder" and your mobile will start sounding an alarm signal, even if you've got it switched to silent mode.
Memory Info for Wear
And now without any fanfare whatsoever: Memory Info for Wear. This app has no bells and is also completely devoid of any whistles. All it does is simply provide information about internal memory for your Android Wear Device.
To switch to a more detailed analysis, click on one of the icons on the main screen. Pleasingly straightforward.
Wear Tip Calculator
If you're exacting enough to want to work out the precise 12.5% of your bill, but polite enough not to want to go waving your phone around the table, the Wear Tip Calculator offers a discreet alternative.
Just type in your bill, then the tip percentage, et voila, the total amount you need to pay. And everyone thought you were just checking the time.
Task Manager for Android Wear
It's easy to lose track of what's running on a relatively small screen. Task Manager clearly lists all programmes and processes running on your watch, helping you stop tasks easily and quickly, saving you potentially hours of battery life.
Just say "Start Task Manager" and take it from there. You can even close all opened tabs with one tap of the "Close all" button.
"OK Google, start Flashlight". And just like that, your Wear watch will glow like the sun itself, helping you guide your key into the front door after a late night or lighting your path to the bathroom at 3 am without waking your partner.
As one of the 548 five-star reviews says, "Not a lot to say - this app does one thing but it does it well."
US$1.99 (£1.20, about AU$2.08)
This apps lets you view and control front and rear cameras from your watch to take snaps and videos, regardless of whether your phone is on or off.
Just voice command "start viewfinder" to launch, double tap to zoom and easily set flash, light torch or activate the self-timer. It's also "Spy Ready", so no shutter sound or phone notifications when in use.
The hugely popular fitness platform has been updated for Android Wear, allowing you can tag your runs, cycles, hikes, climbs and about every other exercise you take part in.
Also, if you're rocking a Sony SmartWatch 3, Samsung Gear S2 or any other watch with GPS built-in, you don't even need a companion smartphone; a standalone mode stores all the metrics from your exercise sessions directly on your watch.
Wear Fitness Personal Trainer
A PT on your wrist, this app counts your reps automatically using your watch's motion sensors - so, for example, as you do press ups it'll keep a log of how many - and creates exercise routines based on your fitness level, customised for weight loss, strength, cardio or muscle building which you can follow by watching videos of the routines as performed by a world-renowned personal trainer.
This fitness app helps you manage your work and rest times, whether you're cycling, running, weight lifting, stretching or boxing. It has a simple, intuitive interface, letting you set repetitions and rest times with ease. You can set hours, minutes and seconds, and pause, resume and reset with a few taps. An essential bit of gym kit.
Free (Premium available)
The most popular cycling app around, we imagine any keen cyclists out there will probably already have tried this hit.
There's now also a Wear add-on. What this does is to let your Wear watch act a bit like a cycle computer, telling you how long you've been riding and how fast you're going. Buy yourself a handlebar mount and you're there.
You do still need to take your phone out on rides, though, as this is a classic 'second screen' app.
US$4.99 (£4.99, about AU$8.63)
A clearly laid-out, easy to read running app for joggers who don't like fiddling with their phone but who also don't like the complication that some dedicated running watches present.
Features include one-tap operation, start and stop with voice commands and easily viewable time, distance and calorie stats. Over 40 million registered users are ready to be out-healthed by you.
Golf anyone? Hole 19, is a comprehensive Android golf assistant that itself is extremely helpful. G
iven that taking your phone out on the course is a big no-no, you'll be better off making use of the distance to the pin (using your mobile's GPS) and scoring features on your smartwatch.
Sleep as Android
Sleep as Android is an advanced alarm clock app that allows you to track your sleeping patterns to help you get a better night's rest.
It recently integrated Android Wear into the main app and that allows you to use your Wear device to monitor your sleep along with your smartphone to give a more detailed analysis of your sleep.
The app itself is very solid with graphs, charts, and alarms to help you sleep well as well as unique stuff like Philips HUE smarttbulb integration. Zzzz.
One of the few things an Android Wear watch can do on its own without a phone plays locally-stored music to some Bluetooth headphones. It doesn't half feel fiddly to make this happen at times, though. Wear Media is an app that lets you transfer tunes over to your watch very easily. There are both full-on phone and Wear components too, making Wear Music work as a media player once you've transferred over those tracks.
Guns 'n' Glory Heros
US$0.99 (£0.79, about AU$1.39)
There are still incredibly few Android Wear games out there. Consider how bad some of them are and it's not so surprising.
A lot of it comes down to Wear watches not having any buttons games can use. Guns 'n' Glory gets around this by boiling tower defence style gameplay into a one-tap format.
Enemies come near you, you blast them with a quick-fire finger tap. However, there's also a bit of RPG-style levelling depth underneath.
Ready for some smartwatch fun? Wear Orbits tasks you with keeping your orbit in balance to avoid a celestial collision with another planet or star – it's not the most advanced game you'll ever see, but it's great for wasting five minutes.
You'll need a watch with a circular face to play though.
Android Wear 2048
One of the most popular Android apps of last year, the Android Wear version brings a simpler 4x4 square interface to this highly addictive puzzler.
Swipe to move the tiles; when two tiles with the same number touch, they merge into one.
The aim is to get higher sums and when a 2048 tile is created, the game is won. Double tap to display your current score.
In one hand, you have your phone - displaying the virtual tennis court - and your other arm (the one with the watch on it) is where you hold your invisible racket.
You can then play a game of tennis, Kinect-style, either solo or against someone else using their own phone and Wear device.
Your phone and Wear will work together to sense how hard you're hitting the ball and, naturally, in what direction.