Must Have Apps For Wear 3.0

mountainbikermark

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Now that Tizen and Wear have basically joined forces the limited choices Tizen users had has in some ways become more limited but at the same time better choices to choose from . Let me elaborate some .

On my Tizen watches there are several aftermarket keyboards to choose from but none of them are even as useful as the oem one and none are free . While these are not available on Wear the 1 that is available is Gboard and its available beta ability . This keyboard blows away the Samsung one in much more than just available (accurate) gesture typing ,aka swiping , but also marries into the oem voice typing (also very accurate ) for an easy experience with messaging , note taking ,email replies , and more . It's a game changer for Samsung watch owners . Speaking of Notes , my favorite one , My Notes in Gear watch version is not available as Wear platform but another Google oem is and takes everything I love about MNiG and brings to to my Galaxy Watch 4 as well as phone . Watchmaker was the first app I loaded onto my new watch for its abilities to make my new watch truly me .

There are several more that I use daily but most of them are Samsung bloat that carried over with the merger of the 2 platforms . These also partly why I use Notes instead of just big screen phones .


If there are any must have or game changers you've found please post them . There aren't as many to choose from on Wear but they seem to be better and most are free vs very few freebies on Tizen .
 
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mountainbikermark

mountainbikermark

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Outlook is very well done for Android Wear for those who desire to check their email via their watch .
I set up 2 different email accounts on my phone , with 1 as priority with notifications and the other without . Certain emails from 1 account send alerts whereas junk , non important , etc do not . When I check the app they're there but they didn't interrupt my daily activity by buzzing on my wrist .
I tried several other communication apps but this one by far is more what I'm after , a notice for important stuff but also easy access to the latest sale suggestion on Amazon whenever I check my inbox .
 
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mountainbikermark

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For those who are into having a mini speaker that answers questions , turns on your lights , or whatever there's several choices and each has its advantages .
My personal assistant is by Amazon in the form of a mini Death Star looking device called an Echo . I have several Dots strategically placed , use smart home devices for lighting , fans , etc . I have it set to tell me useful information each workday morning , play music to help my day and all kinds of neat little "skills" add they're called . If I'm having trouble sleeping there's a skill called "warp core " which is no more than the background noise onboard a galaxy class starship but I'm telling ya it's better a great little white noise sound .
Why am I mentioning this ? What's that got to do with a smartwatch ? Well my most used app on my watch is called Ultimate Alexa . The more I learn what my Echo is capable of the more I use the app on my watch when I'm not home .
What's more handy when you're on the job and need to calculate on the fly ? A phone calculator is ok but it's even easier to just say "what's 48 times 40?" if you need a quick calculation and your hands are full and Alexa answers "one thousand nine hundred and twenty " both verbally and on the watch screen . You're on the way home from work and traffic on 95 suddenly comes to a stop . Quick double tap (how I have it set to open the app ) of the back button ends your query is just a question away . I even use it for a timer when I'm cooking and my hands are greasy . I just use my pinky to double tap , speak , and voila timer is set while I wash my hands . There's a bunch of other reasons I use the app multi times each day but those are just a few .
My watch is LTE so I don't need to be tethered via Bluetooth to my phone but if you've got the non LTE version you'll need a data connection via your phone as it signs into your Amazon Alexa account after you set the app up initially and can be set to either stay logged in (uses a lot more battery ) or each time you open the app , which can take as little as a second or as long as about 5 seconds to sign in .
I could use Bixby for a lot of what I use this app for as with Wear 3 it's a LOT better than before but why use 2 apps for differing purposes when 1 will do ?
The app is not free after 7 day trial but it's well worth the under $2 I paid .
 
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mountainbikermark

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Here's another goodie I've been using for a while .
Color Flashlight .
It's totally dark and you need to find something , look at a star chart , etc , but you don't want to ruin your night vision . Even a sub 2" watch screen set to all white can a problem and carrying a red colored flashlight isn't the most convenient thing in the world if you can even find one . With this app you get the rgb wheel to choose the color you want truly customized as well as brightness . If you want to use it as a visual emergency beacon you can set it to flash and change the animation speed . On top of this you can set it to be a 2 color light so it changes to a secondary color when the user set gesture is activated . I personally have it set as red primary at full bright and with a tap on the screen it changes to white , also at full bright . This way if I need enough light to see my path or find a dropped object and not awaken fully I tap the area on my screen I have it set as a shortcut (again thanks to Wathmaker ) and it activates . If I need more light and am not 3/4 asleep I just tap the screen anywhere and I have a torch on my wrist . When done , just swipe the screen right to left and it cuts off . It doesn't time out but does follow the sleep timer you have the watch itself set to . To bypass that I installed another app called Stay Awake , which I'll discuss at another time
I think the least talked about feature that I really appreciate is it is totally standalone . No companion this or that on my phone . When I downloaded it onto my watch I did so via my phone but other than that there's no trace on my phone at all . I really like that .
Will it light up the night sky or able to be seen from 2 nautical miles away in an emergency ? No . If you drop your phone in the dark it's a great way to quickly find it without finding it by the crunch sound when you step on it .
 
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mountainbikermark

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Stocard.
We all have them , discount cards and/or keychain versions of them .
If you're like me and have a gazillion of them but use only a few frequently this app is for you . It's not really all that for the few that get used often but for the ones that don't that you don't keep with you , never got around to adding a phone number for the cashier , or just flat out don't remember if you have their card or not . Now you can just set up your new card and put it away in that place you'll never forget where you put it until you go to find it and still use get the perks .
It's just a tap the card logo and its barcode comes up . The barcode can then be scanned (mine works well even with a glass screen protector on it ) and when done just tap home and you're done .
This isn't for paying for things , just discount or perk cards .
This is another app that I use whenever I go to the store , whether it be my weekly trip to Food Lion or my very occasional visit to Gabes or Rite Aid .
 
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mountainbikermark

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Samsung listened to their customers complaint about battery life and in their latest Galaxy Watch 4 update they took many steps to improve battery life with 1 being nerve rackingly obvious it wasn't needed . A way to save battery is to turn OFF twist/raise arm to show the time . Well they took that to another level when they made it so when your watch is awake if/when you twist and raise it puts the screen to sleep , no matter what screen is open at the time AND they didn't provide a way to overcome this annoyance . But thanks to developer Phone Phreak there is a solution in the form of a small Wear app called Stay Lit . One great thing about this app is it doesn't override the home/clock sleep gesture but does affect the others . It can be set from off to 5 seconds , to 5 minutes to always on with several choices in between .
Now I don't have to make sure I don't move too much when setting a timer, sending a text ,starting an exercise , or any other activity I use my watch for while on the go but if I want a quick check of the time I can tap the wake button (easy even with gloves on ) but instead of waiting for time out or taking my glove off to cover the screen to sleep it I just twist since it's already raised and it goes back to sleep .
This is the type of innovation I hope to see more of with the new Wear/Tizen blend but so far there are a few , this being a very well done app .
 
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mountainbikermark

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So you've got this great text app on your phone that isn't the stock one and you like it for its gesture capabilities that your oem doesn't provide plus other goodies not available in the factory bloated one . You don't use the oem one . Duh.
You buy a Galaxy Watch 4 and want to make the most of it, including initiating texts , smileys or whatever . Well your fancy handy dandy aftermarket text app doesn't have a Wear version and according to the developer is ok with that limitation because "you can respond to incoming " . Well hells bells my old Galaxy Fit 1 would do that with the aftermarket keyboard I added . You plunked down well in excess of 2 Benjamins on this device this time and you're (I) am anal about getting the most from it , refusing to settle for spending big bucks for a phone butler . There's a real dilemma that most would say "dude get a life " and roll their eyes . Well for the very small minority that is so stubborn about some things there's Handcent (aka Next ) Messages . This is the one most of us used way back but it became a bloatware infested , constantly begging for more money annoyance of an app as others were catching up and surpassing this app without being bloated or playing games with our hard earned coin .
I held my nose and downloaded the app , set it up (which took a while because there's a gazillion possible tweaks that all seem to blur together at some point ) then lo and behold the watch version had an easy to use ui that is different yet not complicated for using on a watch .
Maybe in time those old screen covering ads will show back up but I've been using it a few weeks ad free except for a small non intrusive one at the bottom of the screen on the phone and none on the watch .
It's a bit complicated to set up to your liking on the phone but if you're ok with default there's a simple night mode which puts it into dark mode but everything else stays vanilla . The watch only has dark mode , for lack of knowing proper term for everything except text/numbers being dark blues , grays , etc.
My only gripe of this app is the pop-up ability on the phone is not setable and is HUGE and fugly instead of just showing up in a small box but kinda makes up for it in ease of ways to respond besides x-ing it out.
So you're at work (or somewhat else ) and you remember something important you need to tell someone via text but your phone is not with you or convenient to use . With Handcent you can initiate a text , even a longer one via the voice keyboard or Gboards slide to type feature (it's scary accurate ) if need be so that thing you keep forgetting to say that needs action gets done before going back into the oblivion of a gazillion flashes of energy called memory . For me it's one of the reasons I've been such a long term fanboy of the smartwatch concept for its potential to become as normal carry as the smartphone is today .
 

bkdodger

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Keep em coming .... I would use the Galaxy Watch 4 but I need the Apple Watch synced daily with my iPhone ...
 
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mountainbikermark

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Keep em coming .... I would use the Galaxy Watch 4 but I need the Apple Watch synced daily with my iPhone ...
Another glaring flaw with the Galaxy Watch 4 is the inability to sync with Apple the way Tizen , though on a limited ability , could .
I'm about out of aftermarket apps that I use regularly . There's some bloatware ones I use .
I'll post about Watchmaker next . I like to focus on the functionality of that app more than the ability to bling my watch
 
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bkdodger

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Another glaring flaw with the Galaxy Watch 4 is the inability to sync with Apple the way Tizen , though on a limited ability , could .
I'm about out of aftermarket apps that I use regularly . There's some bloatware ones I use .
I'll post about Watchmaker next . I like to focus on the functionality of that app more than the ability to bling my watch
You are definitely giving them a good look and usage ..you're our watch guru here ...

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
 
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mountainbikermark

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Ok so the Galaxy Watch 4 just got what Samsung is calling a major update . It didn't address any bugs , didn't improve battery life , and didn't add any new real features . It did add more watch faces , more settings for watch faces and settings for S Health .
If you were waiting for Samsung to fix the bugs before you took the plunge , don't bother . I did notice it takes longer for my watch to overheat when watching YouTube via LTE when reception is craptacular so there's that .
Anyway , one of my favorite apps that I've mentioned a little about before is Watchmaker . Not for the bazzillion faces I can make but more for how I can use the watch faces like launchers , make the seconds hand spin backward , have googly eyes as a face and stuff like that . With Tizen I could do quite a bit of launcher like building but with Wear there's more freedom to get the most from tap actions . If you're so inclined my user name there is the same as here should you want to check out my collection . As I said my stuff leans more toward trying to get a pda on the wrist than having super awesome animated graphics .
I'll be brutally honest in that if not for watchmaker I doubt I'd be wearing my Galaxy Watch 4 everyday as my Fits are fine for health tracking and a phone butler .
Android 12 and the new update to the GW4 have had no ill effects on Watchmaker other than a very very few older faces from years ago are not playing nice on their always on display .
Next time I'll talk about some built in apps that don't need a connection to the phone to be useful . Voice memo is one I've been using on my watch since 2013 , calculator I use daily at work and the all important , when cooking , timer app . S Health works alone as well but the gps standalone is murder on the watch battery .
 
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mountainbikermark

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A daily used app that was really good and got better with the latest update is the built in timer app .
I don't know about you but I use an airfryer often during the week and it's really nice to have a timer on my wrist and Wear took it from a daily user to one so easy to use it only takes a few seconds to find and start the timer . One thing I've found with my airfryer is 1 minute can make almost as much difference between delicious and disastrous as reheating in a microwave . The custom setting not only sets whatever you choose but also saves it like a preset , so if you are cooking more than 1 batch of something the timer is already just 1 tap away . No bells , no whistles , no bling , just purple icons with white lettering and a full screen count down once it starts up . It's available in the Play store for some reason but is also embedded on the Galaxy Watch 4 .
 
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