ViewRanger is one of first apps to highlight that there’s a point to Android Wear after all

Developers are beginning to announce useful and handy apps for wearables now that Android Wear watches are starting to hit the market, and the ViewRanger mapping and navigation app stands out from most of them.

Google's new section on the Google Play Store for Android Wear only offers a collection of about 20 apps. There's an app that lets you view Pinterest on your wrist and another app that lets you access your PayPal account. While that sounds all fine and dandy, many of these apps don't offer functionality truely useful outside of your Android device. But ViewRanger is one of the exceptions. It is one of the first apps to be Android Wear enabled.

ViewRanger puts active navigation on your wrist. It works with any existing Android Wear device, enabling you to get information about where you are and where you are going at a glance. There's no need to use your smartphone. The app includes directions for navigation such as your current coordinates, altitude, heading, as well as distance to the next waypoint, point of interest, or to the end of the route.

You can even use ViewRanger to review information about your trip such as the duration, distance traveled, and height gained and lost. But instead of looking at this information through static notifications, you will see integrated graphical elements like a large navigation arrow. That's partly because Google allows app developers to customise the look and feel of their notifications in the context stream.

READ: First Android Wear apps: Here's how to find, get, and use them

Craig Wareham, co-founder of ViewRanger, said Android Wear does not replicate the phone experience, but it instead offers a new way to access time-sensitive data: “We think that people will soon get used to checking their wrist for a range of information keeping their smartphone in a pocket or backpack for when a larger screen is required. There is a lot of convenience in having instant, hands-free access to ViewRanger data,” Wareham added.

Apart from Android Wear functionality, ViewRanger is a notable GPS app for mobile devices. It is used by active travelers and search and rescue teams (including mountain rescue, lowland search, coastguard, and search dog teams). ViewRanger is also available for Kindle and iOS devices.