Android Wear adds mobile network support

Google has added support for mobile network connectivity to the Android Wear platform.

The first Android Wear smartwatches were released a little under a year and a half ago now. Every model released from that point onwards has required a smartphone in close proximity to operate.

That will no longer be necessary, thanks to a new Android Wear update from Google.

Android Wear smartwatches with the appropriate components can now connect directly to the internet over a mobile network, or cellular, connection.

“No more worrying about Bluetooth or Wi-Fi – your watch will automatically switch to a cellular connection when you’re out of range,” says Google.

Using this new-found online independence, you’ll be able to use a compatible Android Wear watch to send and receive messages, launch Google searches, and even make and receive calls.

Of course, we already knew that this provision was imminent with the announcement of the first LTE-packing Android Wear watch, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, a little over a month ago.  

Besides LTE connectivity, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition features a high-resolution 480 x 480 P-OLED display and two additional buttons, reflecting its added usefulness.

Related: Apple Watch vs Android Wear

Interestingly, the ability to swap out the strap has been removed in order to facilitate the LTE technology, which is built directly into the strap.

The first truly independent Android Wear smartwatch is available now in the US, but will be rolling out internationally over the coming months.

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