Android Wear update gives smartwatches a fitness boost

Google has announced a new update for the Android Wear operating system, which enables standalone GPS connectivity on compatible watches and the ability to store music directly on the device.

The updates, which free users from the need to have their phones with them at all times, will be of particular use to those who like to use their Android Wear device as a fitness tracker.

Previously, watch owners were able to see metrics like route, distance and speed on the face while out jogging or bike riding, but only if the device was tethered to a smartphone’s GPS connection.

Now Android Wear is supporting watches with GPS sensors folks no longer have to bring their smartphones along for the run/ride.

Likewise, rather than relying on the smartphone to power the music experience (which can be controlled on the watch face) it’s now possible to transfer music directly to the watch and store it offline via the Google Play Music app.

With most Android Wear watches packing 4GB of storage, there’ll be plenty of scope for long runs and bike rides without hearing the same song twice. Once the music is on the device, the listening experience can be enabled via Bluetooth headphones.

Google suggests the Golfshot: Golf GPS app as the perfect app to test out the new standalone GPS functionality.

It features real time distances to the green for almost 500,000 golf holes on 40,000 courses worldwide, along with a host of GPS flyovers, tracking of greens hit and satellite imagery of holes.

Elsewhere on the official Android blog, Google revealed the Sony Smartwatch 3 has gone up for pre-order at Verizon in the United states for $250 (around £155, AU$283), while it’ll also hit the Google Play Store soon enough.

Read more: Samsung Gear Live review

Via: Android blog