Now, with a single gesture, every application on an Android Wear smartwatch will be displayed, and a single tap can activate any one on command. There is no need for having to scroll through an option list.
Some of you will remember our report on the G Watch from LG, the first smartwatch to run Android Wear. If you need a refresher, just think of Android Wear as an operating system that Google designed specifically made for wearable tech like smartwatches and possibly even fitness bands.
This operating system has essentially been built from the ground up, rather than just be some new version of Android. One brand-new feature is the App Launcher. This new feature allows users to just speak the name of the app that they wish to have.
The vocal control is considered to be a plus on smartwatches. With the smaller screen, there is less room for apps than your typical smartphone or tablet. I have often found myself scrolling through many screens to get to the one app that I need at that moment, and I can imagine that a smartwatch screen can really only handle four large icons or six smaller, barely readable, icons.
You can download the Wear Mini Launcher right now, and here is the good news: users have been reporting a “consistent experience” on the G Watch with this application. Contrast that with the Galaxy Gear, that still takes a while before the user can access their applications.
I can’t help but wonder if the Galaxy Gear will make themselves available to Android Wear. I’ve discovered in my many years of Android use that new versions aren’t always easy to come by. If Android Wear is a fully integrated and built from the ground up, I’m not certain when Samsung would make it available to what is now the flagship Smartwatch.