Admittedly, Wearable tech has had a rough start. In 2014 and 2015, we saw the notable flops of the Apple Watch and Google Glass and, if you had asked us about wearable tech last year, we would have said the outlook was dire indeed.
But recent improvements to wearable hardware, in conjunction with innovation in software (i.e. mobile apps), have turned the market around. As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows and our devices become more and more connected, Apps for Wearable tech like the Watch and Android Wear will rise in popularity.
Just like the first app makers way back in the early to mid aughts, we stand at a precipice, where the savvy entrepreneur stands to make a pretty chunk of change. Let’s take a look at the top Android Wear apps out there and what makes them great.
Top Android Wearable Apps of 2016
1. Google Keep (Free)
This is one of this author’s favorite Android apps, period. It works great as a simple note taker, but it’s share function turns it into a live document. Personally, I love using it as my shopping list; everyone in the family can add something to the list right from their device.
With Wear, this functionality is by no means degraded; in fact it’s extended perfectly to the Wearable platform. On a Wear device, users can take notes and view previous notes. With the Marshmallow update, Users can issue a verbal command (“Okay, Google”) and take notes verbally.
2. Messaging Apps
There is no doubt that eventually Wear and the Watch will become the primary method many people use to text. However, messaging apps were a little slow to get on board. Today that’s a little different, and a lot of developers have jumped on board. We have two favorites:
i. Telegram (Free)
Telegram is a great free SMS replacement and was one of the first messaging apps to launch reliable and useful features for Wear devices. It allows for you to respond via voice, or to draw and emoji on the screen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow users to type out a full response, which brings us to our second option;
ii. Messages for Android Wear (Free)
This aptly named SMS client is specifically designed for Wear devices and provides users with full keyboard and even has text prediction. It also has an extended voice functionality, though we’ve found the voice recognition with Telegraph slightly superior.
3. PixtoCam for Android Wear ($2)
This app for Wearables is just plain cool. It uses the link between your phone and your Wearable device to create a remote screen viewer. In other words, you can set up your phone to take a picture of you and your family, walk away, and then use your Wearable device to view the picture from the phone’s perspective.
All functionalities of your camera are extended to your wearable. No Selfie stick, no asking strangers to take your picture – just set up your phone and check out your wrist.
4. Find My Phone (Free)
This is a pretty basic app, and the name pretty much tells it all. But, if you’re as forgetful as this writer, it’s an invaluable tool. My mother used to tell me I’d forget my head if wasn’t screwed on so tight – and, judging by how frequently I lose my phone, she’s not wrong!
This great little app uses a wearables connection to its home device to help you track down your phone. Find My Phone lets users turn on their phone’s alarms, flashlight, and the screen. It can even make the phone vibrate for those occasions where it sinks between the couch cushions!
5. Toggles Wear ($1.31)
Toggles Wear is the perfect app for users who like to control all the functionalities from their phone. If you have a device that tends to drain battery life, this is a perfect app to let you get a handle on your phone.
Turn on or off your wireless, put your phone in vibrate, change brightness and volume levels, check battery life and more all from your phone. The UI is logical and simple to use; all around a simple but excellent app.
The trick behind making the perfect app for Android Wear is focusing on what Wearable tech has to offer. It’s not a Smartphone, or a tablet. It’s a wholly different device meant to extend functionality of mobile devices not replace them entirely. Apps that succeed on Wearable devices are apps that use the platform to increase the usability of their mobile phone app.
Think you got what it takes to make it on a brand new platform? SDI is a mobile app development company that specializes in market strategies and entrepreneurial ventures. Our experts can help you figure out how to perfect your strategy and can work with you to develop the perfect Wearable app. Contact us or give us a call at 408.802.2885 today to get 25% off your first project!