Android Wear™—the engine that drives many smartwatches—offers a ton of cool features that let you get directions, set timely reminders, or say “OK Google” to ask anything. But there’s much more to it than all that.
Here are answers to some of the top questions about Android Wear smartwatches:
1. Will I have to get a new phone number for my Android Wear smartwatch?
No. A smartwatch is considered a smart accessory, which works with your smartphone. Depending on the kind of smartwatch you have, you can connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth™ or Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t need its own service plan.
Verizon is launching an LTE version of Android Wear soon, so if you buy the LTE version, you will have that option.
2. What phones work with Android Wear?
You need an Android™ phone running Android 4.3 (KitKat) or higher, or an iPhone® 5 (or newer iPhone) running iOS 8.2 or higher that also supports Bluetooth. Check here to see if your phone’s compatible.
3. Do I always need my phone to use my smartwatch?
Not always, although your phone needs to be on.
Android Wear features such as using your smartwatch as an activity tracker, setting alarms and checking the time work without being paired with your phone. Plus, you can easily manage many of its settings on your phone. It’s also worth nothing that using Wi-Fi is similar to how you use Bluetooth.
4. Does my phone need to be nearby to use my Android Wear watch?
If your smartwatch is connected to Wi-Fi, and your phone has a Wi-Fi or cellular network connection, your smartphone can be anywhere you like. The Wi-Fi network doesn’t have to be the same either.
If your smartwatch isn’t connected to Wi-Fi, keep it within 30 feet your phone. (Distance varies by phone and smartwatch.)
5. Can my smartwatch connect to Wi-Fi?
Most of the latest smartwatches can connect to Wi-Fi. If you don’t see a Wi-Fi setting in the settings list, then it can’t use Wi-Fi.
6. How do I respond to messages?
You can reply to your friends using Facebook Messenger, or you can reply via text with canned responses or dictation.
7. How do I send an emoji?
Easy. Just draw them with your finger on your smartwatch screen.
Maybe a friend texts: “Dinner after work?” Just swipe your smartwatch until you see “reply,” then select “draw emoji.” When you start to sketch a fork, for example, the smartwatch recognizes it and gives you a list of similar emojis to pick from. Just select the one you want to send.
8. Can I use voice commands on my Android Wear smartwatch?
Yes. Just say “OK Google” to activate voice search, which tells your smartwatch to start listening.
Ask anything, such as “Will it rain this weekend?” or “How many calories are there in an avocado?” If you need to text a friend you’re running late, speak into the smartwatch, and what you say will be converted into a text message you can send.
9. Will it make any sounds?
That depends on the smartwatch.
Your watch may vibrate for notifications. The smartwatch uses notification settings for each app you set on your phone, so you can choose whether or not your watch will vibrate when an app gets a notification.
Notifications will also pop up on your watch’s display.
10. How do I control cards that show up on my Android Wear smartwatch?
You can choose which cards and notifications show up on your smartwatch by changing your notification settings and Google Now settings. When cards appear on your smartwatch, use your finger to scroll up and down, and left to right to perform certain tasks.
Need to go hands-free? No problem. On Android Wear smartwatches, you can change the cards with a flick of the wrist. This video shows you the two wrist gestures for scrolling.
11. Can I play my music on my watch?
Yes. You can use your smartwatch as a remote to play music on your phone, or you can download music to your smartwatch and listen to it through a Bluetooth® speaker or headset.
Control music on your phone from your smartwatch by saying, “OK Google, play some music” to start listening from your phone. You can also pause, play and skip tracks on your smartwatch.
12. How can I use apps with Android Wear?
You can use the same apps on your smartwatch that you use on your phone for tracking fitness and messaging friends. And a growing number of select phone apps will automatically work with Android Wear, so you don’t need to download a whole new set of apps.
Check out the selection of Android Wear apps on Google Play.