Android Wear update brings support for WiFi, always-on apps and more


Android Wear update Moto 360 LG G Watch DSC06834

Google has detailed a forthcoming upgrade for Android Wear that allows users to finally break away from their phones. The big change being outed today is full support for WiFi. Whereas before you had to have your Android Wear smart watch connected to your phone via Bluetooth in order to get notifications, you can now instead have your watch connect directly to a WiFi network.

android wear always on apps

This means that if you happen to leave your phone at home, or simply somewhere far from you (such as a locker at work) you can still get notifications, send messages and everything else you do as long as both devices are connected to the internet.

Google is also bringing support for always-on apps for any app on Android Wear. Your watch faces have already had this functionality, but it can now be implemented for any app. There are many reasons one would want to keep an app always at the ready (such as a list of instructions on how to fix, cook or install something) so this is a much welcome change.

android wear wrist gesture

Other changes include the ability to scroll through your notifications timeline by a simple flick of the wrist, an easier and quicker way to gain access to your apps and contacts (simply tap the display) and the ability to draw out emojis instead of having to speak a command. Google says the rollout will happen over the next couple of weeks beginning with the LG Watch Urbane (no real way to buy that yet so we’re not quite sure who that is useful for) so stay on the lookout!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Dumb question but does this mean my watch needs to be wi-fi cabable?

    1. If it’s an update that unshackles wifi bands, that would be great.

  2. Yes, it has to be wifi capable.

    1. Moto 360?

      1. Yes, the Moto 360 has WiFi.

        1. Unfortunately, I doubt my Square LG G has WiFi

          1. Neither does the Zen Watch. Thx Obama

          2. G Watch R does, and that’s essentially the same watch with a round display, right? G Watch should have it too…

      2. Yup, moto 360 has bluetooth/wifi combo chipset in it so it will be able to take advantage of the update….SHWEEEETTTTT!!!!

      3. Just got my Moto 360 about a week ago. Loving it. Only problem is I use the Autowear app as part of Autovoice and Tasker things. Autowear relies on an identical flicking motion to activate it’s listening capability for you to execute things with your voice on your watch. Not sure what I’ll have to do.

        1. Love mine, but hardly use it since I have to set it up w/ the S6 Edge.

  3. Must have hangouts app for use with google voice direct over wifi! I don’t know if I would even use this, but i like it.

  4. Awesome, after people have already bought their watches and manufacturers left wifi radios out because the was no need for them. I have been wondering why they wouldn’t have wifi support to begin with. Thanks Google >:(

    1. There’s like only one smartwatch without a wifi radio (LG G watch I believe). My Sony Smartwatch 3 is ready and willing!

  5. This is why I have fought the temptation of buying an android wear watch.. I look forward to the upcoming batch of new and improved Android wear products.

  6. As far as I can tell, all Android Wear watches have some sort of Wi-Fi receiver (I know the Samsung Gear Live does). This update could be HUGE!

  7. Also announcing new feature “endless battery drain”. I kid. Sounds like awesome new features.

  8. I have been wearing a Samsung Gear watch for over six months. Nobody ever noticed it. When Apple announced their watch, I now get stopped daily, “OH MY GOD, HOW DID YOU GET AN APPLE WATCH!!!”

    Kudos to Apple’s marketing department for convincing a bunch of idiots that the first watch to integrate with a smartphone will come from Apple and it isn’t available for months.

    1. Lol

    2. Hah, same here. I have a Moto 360 and get asked constantly if it is the new Apple watch.

      1. same here, I have a Sony Smartwatch 3. It looks nothing like an Apple watch but hey, it has a screen! (that’s always on, unlike the apple watch)

  9. I was hoping to see NFC support in the list of updates. Maybe next time.

  10. Only thing missing now on my Moto 360 is the 24mm Monolink Metal Band since Motorola dosent sell it separately.

  11. This is pretty awesome.

  12. I am pretty anxious for this update. I use Keep for grocery shopping and it really sucks to grab something, pull phone out, check it off the list, put phone back, grab next item, then repeat.

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