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The First 5 Non-Google Watch Apps

Rafe Needleman
Editorial Director, Yahoo Tech
Yahoo Tech
June 26, 2014

The First 5 Non-Google Watch Apps

Rafe Needleman
Editorial Director, Yahoo Tech
Yahoo Tech
June 26, 2014

What apps will you put on your Google Watch? If you get one of these new devices to strap on your wrist, there are app developers that will have products for you, too. At the Google I/O conference, there were five marquee apps announced, in addition to those built into the watch by Google (like that crazy one that shows the time). 

Each of the Wear apps is a companion to a fuller-featured Android app. In fact, Wear apps are bundled into the installation files with Android apps. If you have a watch paired to a phone and install an app that has a Wear component, you’ll get it automatically.

Google Wear watches immediately start getting alerts from Google and some other apps on your phone. When I set up a new LG G watch here at Google I/O, it started to stream my Twitter alerts to me right away.

Read more: Samsung, LG Launch Smartwatches with New Google Software

But if you want your watch to do even more, here are the four non-Google watch apps we saw at Google I/O:

Smartwatch showing Pinterest notification
Smartwatch showing Pinterest notification

A demo of the Pinterest Wear app at Google I/O. (Rafe Needleman/Yahoo Tech)

1. Pinterest
Pinterest lets people remember locations like shops, attractions, and restaurants. If you have a board with those items in it, you can have an Android Wear watch buzz to let you know when you’re near one. One way to use this that sounds actually pretty neat: If you’re visiting a new city and you subscribe to a board that lists good attractions in that city, you’ll get alerts on your watch. Could be a good way to go exploring.

2. Lyft
The anti-taxi company (the one that puts pink mustaches on cars) will let you order a car to come pick you up from your watch. Why not just take your phone out of your pocket and do that? One less thing to drop, I suppose. You’ll also be able to pay and rate your driver on the watch after the ride is over.

Duolingo will quiz your wrist. (Rafe Needleman/Yahoo Tech)

3. Duolingo
This free language-learning app gets a little Android Wear extension: flash cards. If you’re learning a language, it can give you little cards of words and ask you if you know them. It’s on the honor system, as there’s no room on the phone to type in responses. But it might be nice to quiz yourself on a new language while you’re sitting in your Lyft ride. Duolingo also has a Glass app.

4. Eat24
This one’s the puzzler. From the Wear version of this app, you can order food from a nearby restaurant. The app learns your habits and is supposed to be smart about it. For example, if you often order pizza when your favorite team is playing, it’s supposed to remind you on your watch at the right time and make it easy to place your order immediately. If you want to modify your order, you’re probably better off heading to your phone or the Web. Or using the Pizza Counter app.

The Google Wear watches will also have Google’s own apps, like the voice-activated Maps navigation, note-taking, steps tracking, your calendar, and more. When more developers take stabs at watch apps, we’ll be covering those as well.

The All the Cooks watch app will control the phone’s display (Rafe Needleman / Yahoo Tech)

5. All the Cooks
This site for sharing recipes has a very clever take on using a wristwatch as an accessory device. While you are reading a recipe on your smartphone, you can use your watch to advance through the steps. The watch is basically a remote control page-turner. So you can put your phone up on a shelf, or even behind glass, to keep it from getting splashed while you cook (the watches are water-resistant).

The watch app can also serve as a timer during cooking, and it has a nice shopping list (where you can check items off as you get them) for before you start. 

See also: Google Putting Android in Almost Everything

Watch: Everything You Need to Know About Google’s Big Event

Correction: A previous version of this story listed four apps. The story has been updated and the poll reset.

Rafe Needleman can be reached at rafeneedleman@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @rafe​.