Do we still need a mini launcher with Android Wear 5.1.1?
My thoughts on the new features and the relevance of my app 🙂
We do – because Bubble Cloud is more than just a mini launcher.
DOES IT STILL WORK?
After receiving the update on my Moto360, of course my first reflex was to test my app. I am happy to report that so far I found every feature of Bubble Cloud to work more or less correctly on 5.1.1.
What’s better? animations feel more fluid, apps start quicker. Stopwatch shows up, alarm, timer now double, but you can hide one.
What’s worse? in watch-face mode the clock bubble tends to disappear for a few seconds when the screen goes to ambient mode. It is probably caused by stricter CPU throttling, I am looking into possible workarounds.
Double tap clock for Google is gone… see https://goo.gl/KjRxd8
App-drawer mode: the new apps and contacts quick access swipes in from the right. There is no interference if you set the Bubble Cloud to come in from the left. But even if it is set to the right you can differentiate: if you drag in on the top of the screen → bubble drawer if on the bottom half → system drawer. Even double tapping on the upper edge works as before.
Watch-face mode: tap on the clock bubble → turns black. Then swipe up for cards, swipe down for quick settings or tap/swipe left for the new system drawer.
Gesture scrolling: seems to work well, cards appear correctly on top of the bubble cloud watch-face.
Battery life I am glad the reddit community prepared me not to freak out when battery life after the 5.1.1. update plummeted in the first few days. I used the watch to 0% then recharged a few cycles, now it calibrated itself, and battery is better than before. This is completely independent from Bubble Cloud, which still runs as energy-efficient as any other info-rich watchface or launcher.
IS IT NEEDED?
Do we still need Bubble Cloud Launcher with the OS now giving us easier access to apps and contacts?
Apps Bubble cloud gives you a much more compact screen with all apps at your fingertips. In watch-face mode your favorite apps are a single tap away.
Contacts You can select which contacts go to your Contact Cloud, and they are displayed together, no scrolling necessary
Sticky open The new Always-on mode requires app developers to add the feature to their apps. With always-on apps you don’t see the time. And with sticky open you decide if you want to keep an app on screen or not.
Flash light It could be just me, but I found Bubble Cloud’s light to be brighter 😉 …probably not. But the timeout method is arguably more practical.
WHAT DO YOU MISS IF YOU DON’T USE BUBBLE CLOUDS
There are still many special features, which are not (and mostly should not be) addressed in the core OS:
Tasker integration: start actions on your phone from your watch
Hiding and categorizing apps: archive and favorites + option to hide
Highly customizable watch-face now with new Layout Designer and Clock bubble customizations
Toggle bubbles: control wifi, sound, wifi-hotspot
Touch lock Don’t confuse this with the 5.1.1. Screen lock function. That protects your privacy, the touch lock in Bubble Cloud avoids accidental screen touches.
Full screen clock: Non-dimming with seconds hand, quickly dismissable
Find my phone remotely make your phone beep (now with wifi from larger than 30feet distances too!)
Fun look not even to mock your fruity friends, make it playful or practical
HOME SCREEN WIDGETS
Many buy the app only to be used on their phone’s launcher homescreens. It all included, give it a spin if you haven’t tried it.
Nothing changed in my commitment to this project. You can see my continually expanding plans at http://goo.gl/3A1ONK
These are the most subjective thoughts of the developer himself 🙂 Eventually you decide for yourself, if you want to use Bubble Clouds!