The best Google Android Wear apps

Google´s Android Wear is set to take the smartwatch world by storm but what about its apps? here we round up a few that have caught our eye

18 Jul 2014


Google's Android Wear is set to take the smartwatch world by storm but what about its apps?

The first batch of apps has landed for Google's new wearables operating system - enabling you to do everything from dictate shopping lists to track your performance on a run from your wrist

Here we select the pick of the bunch.

But first… 

What is Android Wear?

Samsung Gear Live (AP) 

Android Wear is an operating system for smartwatches, designed by Google. It's like a shrunken-down version of the Android on your smartphone.

It can run on watches made by different manufacturers and can fit both rectangular and round watch faces.

So far we have the Samsung Galaxy Gear Live, the LG G Watch and the upcoming Moto 360 from Motorola - which boasts a round face and looks like a traditional watch.

Here are some of things you can do with an Android Wear watch:

  • Answer calls and pick up notifications - text messages, social media
  • Sync with your Android phone so the calendar and diary are the same
  • Works with your calendar to remind you about a flight or a meeting or a trip to the supermarket  
  • Uses GPS to alert you to traffic problems

Learn more in our Guide to Android Wear 

5 Android Wear apps we love already

1) Google Keep - for taking notes

Shopping List 

This has more than just a cute name. Google Keep is a little list companion for your wrist. It allows you to take down notes by speaking into your smartwatch - no more fumbling around for pen and paper in your bag.

It's great for shopping lists, too. You can set a location-based reminder and it'll bring up your list as you get to the supermarket. It syncs across your tablet and laptop, so anything you cross off a list on your laptop will appear on your smartwatch.

Get it: here   


2) Runtastic - for running

Want to turn your smartwatch into a running watch? With the Runtastic app you can. It uses your watch's GPS to track your running route - so you can see how far along you are with a simple glance at your wrist.

It also records the time you have taken to complete your circuit and the number of calories you have burned. You can also play tunes through Spotify or Google Play through your watch to keep you motivated.

Get it: here


3) Google Maps - for not getting lost


Ever get lost on the way to a meeting or to meet a friend at a place you've not been before? With Google Maps on your smartwatch you can be sure of getting from A to B. No more walking with your smartphone held up in front of your face. 

Merely glance at your wrist and your watch will tell you where you need to go. You can also set it for voice directions, and when it's time to change streets it vibrates. You can also pick up information about public transport, as well as rerouting if there's been an incident that blocks your original path.

Get it: here


4) Phone Finder - for finding your phone

My wife loses her phone about once every hour. She normally storms around for a few minutes, shouting 'where's my phone?' 

How much handier would it be if there was a simpler way of reconciling her with her handset?  Phone Finder does just that. If it has fallen behind the sofa you can use this handy app to sound the phone's alarm, and if you wander off without your phone then your wrist will start buzzing.

Get it: here


5) The Guardian - for staying on top of the news

Keeping abreast of the latest news headlines just got a whole lot easier. The Guardian newspaper has created an app for Android Wear watches that delivers the latest news headlines to your wrist as they're happening.

This means you can stay on top of the breaking news in real time from pretty much anywhere - and without having to dig out your tablet from your bag or pull your smartphone from your pocket. 

Get it: here 


Do you have a favourite Android Wear app? Tell us what is is and why you love it in the comments below...