With the official launch of the first line of Android Wear-based devices during Google’s I/O conference earlier last week from companies like LG, with the LG Watch, and Samsung, with the Gear Live, Google has now released the official Android Wear companion app as well as the platform’s first batch of apps on the Google Play Store.
The new Android Wear companion app, which you can download today on your Android (4.3+) smartphone, allows users to pair their smartphone with their Android Wear device (when they get them next week) and change settings and other functions on the smartwatch directly from their smartphone including the ability to choose default apps for certain activities, configure new devices, and change voice action or notification preferences. For now, the app’s features seem slim but Google could potentially develop more uses for the app in the future.
Google has also opened a dedicated section for Android Wear compatible apps on the Google Play Store and has even published the platform’s first round of apps. The dedicated section already has around 31 Android Wear apps listed including expected apps like Google’s Maps and Hangout apps. Also expected are fitness & health apps including Runtastic’s Running & Fitness App and the MediSafe Meds & Pill Reminder App.
The rest of the current third-party app list for Android Wear includes Lyft, FTTT, CloudMagic – Email App, Hue Control, Fancy, Path Talk – The New Messenger, Golfshot: Golf GPS, musiXmatch Music Player Lyrics, Level Money, Contacts+, Bandsintown, Banjo, Duolingo, Eat24, Onefootball Brasil, Highlight, Glympse, Talkray, Player FM, The Guardian, Thomson Reuters, Person Capital Finance, Allthecooks Recipes, Pinterest, American Airlines, Fly Delta, 1Weather: Widget Forecast, and Zumper.
A post on the Android Developers Google+ page talks about the ease of which developers can create apps for Android Wear, “In addition to notifications bridged from the phone, Android Wear allows developers to write code that runs directly on the wearable. Nearly all the APIs Android developers are already familiar with are accessible on the wearable allowing fully customized UI, reading sensors directly, integrating with voice actions, and sharing data between the phone or tablet and the wearable.”
So we should be seeing more and more Android Wear apps coming out soon as we grow closer to when LG and Samsung start shipping out their Android Wear smartwatches next week.