If you're the proud owner of a new Android Wear watch, you may be wondering how to install apps. Well wonder no more, as we reveal everything you need to know.
When you unbox your shiny new device, connect it up to your Android phone, and – hey presto – all your smartphone apps are instantly Android Wear apps too. That is to say, notifications and alerts appear on your wrist automatically, with no extra configuration required.
If you are using Android Wear with an iPhone, check out our dedicated guide as things work a little differently.
But what about apps built solely for your watch? Well, there's a whole store worth of apps that go beyond simple notifications and live on the watch itself. Rather oddly, these still have to be installed through your smartphone. For now, at least - the new Android Wear 2.0 update will include functionality for standalone apps.
Confused? Don't be, simply read our handy Android Wear app guide....
1. Find your apps
Google has kindly put up a gallery of Android Wear apps on Google Play – most of these apps have been updated to provide something else on your wrist besides simple notifications. A growing number of them (including @here) have been built specifically for watches rather than phones, but are still installed through your mobile.
You can find the same selection from the Android Wear app on your smartphone: choose 'Browse suggested apps' from the front page of the app.
2. Install your apps
Google has kindly put up a gallery of Android Wear apps on Google Play – most of these apps have been updated to provide something else on your wrist besides simple notifications. A growing number of them (including Calculator For Android Wear) have been built specifically for watches rather than phones, but are still installed through your mobile.
You can find the same selection from the Android Wear app on your smartphone: choose 'More' next to the Essential watch apps section on the front page of the app.
3. Launching from your watch
If you want to run an app from your watch, with the new Lollipop update there is a new list of apps to choose from before you hit the old actions list – just tap any app to start using it. The menu is the first list that comes up when you swipe to the left before contacts.
Most apps also come with a voice command you can use as an alternative way of launching them (check the app descriptions for details).
4. Watch navigation
At this point you're into the app interface and this is going to vary depending on the app, but the usual Android Wear controls still apply: swipe left to see more cards from the app and right to dismiss it from view. As normal, the dots along the bottom of the interface will alert you if there are more cards to see in the current app - in the case of @here we can zero in on our position.
Some apps will let you send commands or websites to your phone.
5. Launching from your phone
If you want to use an app that lives on your smartphone but has a few extra Android Wear tricks up its sleeve then simply launch or use it as normal. The Android Wear features will kick in as and when necessary rather than appearing in the Start menu we looked at a couple of steps ago.
For example, if you launch the Google Camera app on a connected phone then a remote control option will instantly appear on your Android Wear device.
6. Setting up notifications
If there are some apps on your smartphone that you'd rather not receive notifications for on your wrist, head to the Android Wear tool installed on your mobile. Tap the settings icon (a tiny cog) then choose 'Block app notifications' – you can then tap on the large plus icon to specify apps that you don't want to hear from.
Notifications from these apps appear on your phone as normal but won't show up on your smartwatch.
You can also adjust notifications from the watch itself: swipe down from the top and you can choose between no notifications, priority notifications and all notifications. To set which notifications are priority ones, go to the Sound & notifications page in Settings on your phone or tablet (changing the notification mode on your watch also changes it on the phone and vice versa).
7. Setting up default apps
When you speak a voice command such as "take a note" or "set an alarm" to your smartwatch, Android Wear uses whichever app is currently associated with that action. To change these default associations, open up the Android Wear app on your phone, scroll down to the Tips section and choose the relevant task; any apps capable of taking on the action (e.g. "take a note") are listed. Tap 'More actions' for the full list.
If you're using an alternative alarm clock app, for example, this is where you can configure it to work with Android Wear.
More Android Wear guides...
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