Google showcases Android Wear-ready apps in Google Play

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Credit: image: Jon Phillips

The first Android Wear smartwatches aren't slated to ship for another four days, but soon-to-be Wear owners can now spend the Fourth of July weekend perusing Google Play for apps with dedicated Wear support. Actually, perusing the current collection of Wear-friendly apps should take only a few minutes, as currently there are fewer than 25 available.

The collection includes Google's smartphone bridge app that links your smartphone to an Android Wear device. Anyone expecting to get a Google-icious smartwatch should probably grab this app and install it to be ready for Wear on day one.

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Android Wear integration from Fly Delta, the airline's Android app.

The rest of the Google Play collection is made up of third-party apps meant to highlight what Android Wear can do. "We've worked with some friends to create some great early Android Wear integrations," Google said late Wednesday on its Android Developers Google+ page.

The selection includes apps such as IFTTT, Duolingo, The Guardian, Pinterest, 1Weather, and Google apps such as Hangouts and Maps. If you don't see your favorite app in the list don't worry too much. Most Android app notifications should already work with Android Wear.

The difference with the dedicated Wear section is that these apps have enabled extra features such as voice replies, multiple cards for a single notification (called Pages), and multiple alerts from one app bundled together (called Stacks).

IFTTT says it created a new Android Wear Channel that lets you trigger recipes and get notifications on your watch, according to the Google Play description. Delta Airlines' Fly Delta app puts your boarding pass right on your wrist.

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The Guardian notifications on Android Wear.

The Android Wear collection may be small now, but you can bet it will grow as LG's G Watch and Samsung's Gear Live begin shipping in the coming days. As we reported in March, developers are anxious to get their apps ready for Android Wear.

In addition to rolling out a selection of Wear-enhanced apps, Google also said on Wednesday that Google Play Services 5.0 had rolled out to Android devices worldwide. The new Play Services includes the underlying infrastructure smartphones need before they'll play nicely with Android Wear. The Play Services 5.0 rollout began in late June.

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