Android Wear gets its first launcher app

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Launching a new app on an Android Wear smartwatch is a rather convoluted process, as you must first wake the watch with a tap or an “OK Google”, then tap the red G in the corner, then scroll down to the bottom of a long list. You can always say "OK Google, launch Evernote," but sometimes you just don't want to talk out loud to your wrist.

 Developer Nicolas Pomepuy has a solution in Wear Mini Launcher, available in the Google Play Store. With one swipe from the top left corner, it creates a launcher that displays all the installed application icons and names. Then you just swipe through the list to find the app you are looking to launch.

The latest update adds a quick setting for brightness control and haptic feedback when the drawer is opened. It has also received some bug fixes, especially for Samsng Gear Live owners.

Developer Pomepuy is seeking additional feedback on the site’s Google Play page for anyone else experiencing issues: “This is a first release, so don't hesitate to mail me if you have a suggestion or you find a bug.”

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To launch Wear Mini Launcher, open the app on your smartphone while the watch is connected or open it directly on your watch.

While Google may eventually build in this type of functionality, it is a good addition for those who want faster access to their installed applications from an Android Wear smartwatch. Also, Pomepuy’s rapid attention to bug fixes bodes well for its stability and usefulness going forward.

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