Some rather interesting news appeared recently, about an Android Wear smartwatch owner who was able to take advantage of their device in a rather unconventional way. What am I talking about exactly? It turns out you can use an Android Wear smartwatch to play Game Boy Color games via an emulator.
Let me reiterate, if you own a Samsung Gear Live, LG G Watch or Moto 360 then you can play Game Boy games on it. At first you might wonder why the hell you would want to play games on a screen so small? When you stop and think about it though, the older Game Boy screens weren’t much larger. Plus, it’s convenient to always have a device handy to game with, in case you get stuck out in the cold with nothing else on you. Although, presumably you’d probably have your smartphone with you too if you’re wearing a smartwatch… but that’s beside the point.
It got me thinking, what are some other cool things you can do with Android Wear devices that they weren’t originally intended for? Let’s take a closer look at some of the things users have been able to accomplish with their android wear smartwatch.
Here, Are Some Awesome Things You Can Do with an Android Wear Smartwatch
Emulate Game Boy Color Games
Okay, so I already talked about this but that’s okay. It needed a more in-depth explanation as well as a demo video (seriously, it’s pretty damn neat to see in action).
The resourceful Android Wear owner, Corbin Davenport was able to get a Game Boy Color emulator working on his Samsung Gear Live. He also connected his device to the MOGA Hero Power Gamepad in order to better control the game. That makes sense considering the Gear Live smartwatch – along with most Android Wear watches – uses touchscreen controls which would be frustrating on such a small display. Imagine trying to play games with a virtual joystick on the tiny watch touchscreen? That would be ridiculous. Okay, so maybe running a Game Boy Color emulator on your smartwatch isn’t so convenient after all, but it’s still neat to see. It’s especially neat when you consider how bulky the original Game Boys were. I mean, just look at how small the Gear Live is – or any smartwatch for that matter – compared to an old Game Boy. It’s a testament to how far technology has come over just the last decade.
Anyway, if you’d like to see it in action check out the video below.
Run Windows 95
Interestingly enough, Corbin Davenport – the same guy who got the Game Boy Color emulator working on his Gear Live – was also able to get Windows 95 running on Android Wear. He sideloaded a DOS emulator on his watch, and then threw on Windows 95. Pretty typical stuff, right?
It doesn’t actually run well, as it takes a while to boot up and runs out of RAM when running applications, but hey it works!
You might also be interested to know that Davenport got Minecraft and Doom running on his Gear Live, as well. This guy is just a veritable genius when it comes to running new stuff on his Android Wear smartwatch.
So, now that we’ve established you can run a bunch of games and an extremely old version of Windows on them, what else can these devices do?
Make It Look Like An Apple Watch
If you want to experience owning an Apple Watch before everyone else, or at least an Android Wear smartwatch modified to look like Apple’s wearable OS you can do just that. Through the WearFaces app – a software app that allows you to customize the watchfaces on your device – you can download the PEAR watch face. It’s been designed to work with both rectangular and round watches, so it will look great even on the Moto 360.
Once installed, the PEAR watchface will fill your display with a ton of fake apps grouped in circles. The icons are mainly for show which means they aren’t functional, but why does that matter? Everyone around you who sees it will likely wonder if you are using Apple’s new watch.
Create Your Own Custom Watchface
So what if the Pebble already allows for this, it’s still pretty exciting that you can do this on an Android Wear smartwatch too. Thanks to developer Jeremy Steckling, you can download the Android app “Facer” to completely customize the look and feel of your watch.
With it, you can create both digital and analog watchfaces. It uses a WYSIWYG visual editor interface which means, what you see is what you get. You can move around and alter different elements like the fonts, wallpaper, battery percentage and more. In other words, you don’t need to understand code or programming to build your own watchface.
If you have an Android Wear watch, this is something you’ll want to pick up as soon as possible.
Check Security Feeds
Using this feature doesn’t require any extra tinkering besides installing the TinyCam Monitor app on your device(s), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth mentioning. If you use a TinyCam security system – or baby monitoring system – you can tap in using your smartwatch in the related app. It was always great to have this option with a smartphone or tablet, but what if you don’t have those devices handy and you need to check your feeds quickly? Let’s say an alarm goes off and you need to check on your baby, you can pull up the feed right on your smartwatch.
Okay, so I’ll admit this is definitely a niche feature but it’s still pretty neat.
This only applies to the more resourceful users out there who know what they’re doing – and know why you would want to root your device. If you don’t know, rooting an Android device allows access to several things you wouldn’t otherwise have control over. I’m not going to dive into the particulars, just know it’s for advanced users only.
Anyway, you can unlock the bootloader on your Android Wear smartwatch – depending on which model you have – and root the device as well to work with apps like Titanium Backup and more. If you’d like a full guide you can head on over to Android Central where they tell you why you would want to do it, and if you actually should go through with it. That’s a pretty smart way to setup a tutorial if you ask me.
View Your Smartphone Camera Remotely
Motorola updated their camera app on the Moto 360 to allow users to remotely control their camera. This is possible with several other Android Wear smartwatches too. What’s remotely controlling your camera, however if you can’t see a live feed? A developer over at XDA created an app that allows you to tap into your smartphone and remotely view your camera feed – live. Aside from some of the creepy ways this can be used, it could also be pretty damn useful. You could set your camera some distance away and check the live feed to ensure you’re getting a great photo before you snap! If you’d like to get the app, head on over to the XDA forum thread, and don’t forget to support the developer!
What Cool Things Have You Done with Your Android Wear Smartwatch?
Know something that’s not on this list? Have you done something cooler with your own device? Feel free to share!