They may not officially show up until July 7, but Android Wear smartwatches have arrived as far as Google is concerned. The company behind the wearable-focused OS has launched an Android Wear section on its app repository, the Google Play Store, and as of this writing, there are already 24 apps ready and waiting to be downloaded right to your wrist.
Interestingly, only three of those apps come from Google itself – Maps and Hangouts, two of the core apps on which most Android smartphone users rely, and the Android Wear app. The Android Wear experience is built around managing notifications and navigation, so it makes sense that those are among the first to appear. Meanwhile, users won’t be able to use their smartwatches without downloading the Android Wear app that syncs the devices to a smartphone, so that one’s pretty important, too.
Also present are Allthecooks, Eat24 and Pinterest, all three of which were featured during the Android Wear demonstration at Google I/O last week. Other apps, like Thompson Reuters Eikon and the Guardian, give users headlines or brief updates about news or financial stories, while Level Money gives users a detailed look at their budget information and how much they can spend each day. There are also apps from American Airlines and Delta, both of which would seem to offer the same kind of functionality we’ve heard about from the Iberia Air app made for the Samsung Gear 2 a few months ago. The demo at I/O showed users accessing boarding passes from their wrists, so it stands to reason that these two apps – and others to come – will work with Google Now to give passengers quick access to their boarding materials.
It’s nice to see that Google has already stocked the larder with apps for new smartwatch owners to download when their devices arrive. It likely won’t be long before even more third party developers bring their apps to the (very) small screen shortly after the G Watch and Gear Live make their debut. With the debut of these apps, it will be interesting to see how long it will be before developers make apps that you can only use on Android Wear devices.