Android Wear has flourished in recent months, now that a plethora of new smartwatches have arrived in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and designs. While Google has put a lot of time and effort into Android Wear to bring new features and functionality to your wrists, there’s also a ton of apps that add even more capabilities to smartwatches everywhere. These apps do more than just bring notifications to your wrist — they can help us pass the time, share in-depth information, browse the Web, and more.
So, with all that in mind, here are 20 of our favorite Android Wear apps in no particular order. They’re all available right now on the Google Play Store, and we’ve included links for easy access. Some of these are apps that load dedicated versions to your smartwatch, while others are merely apps you may already have, but will load special Android Wear versions to your smartwatch. Either way, they’re all must-haves for your watch.
Always want the weather at a glance? InstaWeather is a smartwatch app for your Android Wear devices that offers more than just an app for checking on the weather. It also includes specially-crafted watch faces that share the latest weather alongside the time of day. You can not only see the most intricate of weather information right from your watch face, but some premium watch faces will even show the latest radar images, giving you a clear look at what’s coming. The app will notify you when it’s raining nearby to give you a heads up about inclement weather.
This might be a crazy choice for an app, but Android Wear’s own agenda service is only good at seeing what’s coming up for that day. If you want to see what’s happening later in the week, or just catch a glance at a calendar to see what day is when, then you’ll want to download Calendar for Android Wear. This app offers a simple Agenda service, but more importantly, it’s an easy way to glance at a full calendar without taking out your whole phone.
Android Wear, by default, integrates with the Messenger app that comes with your Android device already, but we find that app to be a bit lacking in functionality. Coffee is a jolted up version of the default messenger app that offers pre-written responses for when you need to reply quickly without speaking to your watch. Coffee also supports quick SMSing to give you a list of popular contacts — all without touching your smartphone.
Another necessary enhancement for your Android Wear smartwatch is Feel The Wear. This app changes up the rather boring default vibration your smartwatch will have for most notifications and messages. Instead, you can customize a special vibration “tone” for all sorts of apps and notifications to tell apart your messages without even glancing at your watch.
Ever lose your phone? It’s easy to forget about it when heading out for work some days, and now your watch will remind you about the lost device. Find My Phone will automatically vibrate your watch if it disconnects from your phone, so you don’t end up stranded without it. If you lost your phone in a room and Find My Phone can detect it, then you can also ring the phone from your smartphone to discover wherever you last left the device.
Eat24 is an easy way to grab some food. It offers up a list of local restaurants that support pickup or delivery to your home. In case you’re feeling especially lazy while making an order or waiting for your Eat24 order to arrive, now there’s an Android Wear app to help simplify the process. You can look at recent orders, get notifications on your deliveries, and other information at a glance from the app.
Wear Mini Launcher makes it a whole lot easier to find things on your smartwatch. Rather than scroll through apps one by one as you’d do with the default drawer, Wear Mini Launcher is a hexagonal way to navigate your apps. It also gives you a way to quickly swipe over for other quick settings, such as your smartwatch’s brightness level, alarm modes, and other settings.
Ever dropped something behind a nook or cranny behind your desk or in some other hard-to-reach spot? Wear Camera gives you a look around by transmitting the video signal of your smartphone to your watch. This allows you to get a look at something only your smartphone can see, saving you the trouble of contorting yourself to see into cramped spaces. It’s also a cool way to keep an eye on things from afar.
Tweechip is a special Twitter client for catching up on your Twitter account at a glance. After logging in through your smartphone, you can use Tweechip to read your favorite tweets, as well as favorite and retweet them to your followers. The app is pretty simple and straightforward, but makes it easier to catch up on current events or recent tweets without taking out your smartphone.
Sleep as Android is an extension of the same, awesome sleeping technology in the regular Sleep as Android app. Just as the original app uses your phone to track your noise and movement as you sleep, Sleep as Android for your smartwatch allows you to track sleeping patterns without leaving your smartphone on the bed. That way, you can keep your smartphone charging while your Android smartwatch serves as a sleep monitor for the smartphone’s tracking technology.
Next page: Our next 10 picks for your Android Wear smartwatch