Install the Android Wear launcher on your Android device

Want to get a taste of what Google's Android watch OS feels like on your Android device? You're in luck.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Earlier this week Google announced Android Wear, the platform that's going to bring Android to more wearables in the very near future. Along with the announcement, it also released a developer preview of the operating system for developers to begin working magic with. Naturally the preview included an emulator for devs to preview their work on. It didn't take long for the emulator to be extracted and turned into an installable APK for Android devices.

What this means for curious Android users running Android 4.4 and above is that you can install the Android Wear launcher on your device right now.

As Android Police reported last night, the launcher isn't a complete replacement for your current launcher. Instead, it's more of a brief preview of how Android Wear will handle notifications.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Swiping up and down on the screen will allow you to scroll through your current notifications. A swipe to the left will reveal options to for handling the message (e.g., open, reply, archive), while a swipe to the right will dismiss the notification altogether.

For those of you who installed Google's Android Wear Preview beta app, you'll need to uninstall it before installing the Wear launcher. You'll also need to make sure you've enabled the installation of third-party apps on your device in Settings > Security > Unknown Sources.

You can grab the APK and view an extensive gallery of Android Wear screenshots from this Android Police post.

After installing the APK, the first time you press the Home button on your device, you'll be prompted to select your preferred launcher. Select Android Wear to start using it.