20 Great Android Wear Tips and Tricks
The smartwatch revolution may have started some time ago, but now that Android Wear is with us things are getting a little more serious. Google's vision of wearable tech operates like a window onto your mobile world, pushing voice commands to the forefront and generally seeking to streamline notifications and communication to the point where you don't even need to retrieve your phone from your pocket.
If you've already bought into the dream, whether it's with the LG G Watch or another Android Wear device, then allow us to offer up 20 of the best Android Wear tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your new device.
SEE ALSO: What is Android Wear?
20) Dim the watch screen instantly
Android Wear is designed to dim its screen quickly to conserve battery life, but you can speed up the process by covering the entire watch face with your palm. You'll notice a vibration and when you remove your hand, the display will be dimmed.
19) Track your steps and set yourself a daily goal
Android Wear automatically tracks your steps throughout each day and keeps a record of your overall performance.
You can view this information at any time by opening up the Fit app, as well as set yourself a daily step goal.
When you surpass this goal, you'll get a notification informing you of the fact - along with a glow of smug self-satisfaction as a side-order.
18) Turn off the screen to prolong battery life
Google is keen to market Android Wear as having an "always on" display, but even when it's running in its "dimmed" monochrome state, the screen is consuming battery power. If you're concerned about stamina, you can choose to deactivate the screen completely when you're not interacting with the watch.
Say "OK Google" and then "Settings". Scroll down to "Always On Screen" and toggle it to off. To wake the display, either tap it with your finger or tilt your wrist towards yourself - the internal accelerometer will detect that you're looking at it and fire up the screen accordingly.
17) Preserve battery life by turning off the watch entirely
Even when the watch is on standby and not connected your phone, it's still gently sipping at its battery life - and when you consider that Android Wear devices currently have less than two days of stamina, that's not ideal. You can make each charge go a little further by switching off the watch altogether.
Say "OK Google" and then "Settings", then select Power Off. The only thing you'll need to note is that you'll need the charging dock to turn the watch on again - Android Wear devices don't have an on or off button, and have to be docked to bring them to life.
SEE ALSO: Android 4.4 Tips and Tricks
16) Change your clock face
Don't like Android Wear's default clock face? Fancy something a little different?
Then try holding your finger down on the main watch screen and you'll notice a selection of alternatives pops up.
You can also change the watch face by saying "OK Google" and then "Settings".
15) Find Android Wear compatible applications
While the pickings are a little slim at the moment, it won't take long for loads of Android Wear apps to appear. To find them quickly and easily, open the Android Wear application on your phone and scroll to the bottom of the main screen.
14) Reset the watch to factory settings
If you find that your Android Wear device is behaving strangely - or you're planning on selling it to someone else - then you may wish to reset it to factory default. Say "OK Google" and then "Settings" to open up the settings menu where you'll find the reset option. Use this option with caution, however - it will wipe all data from the watch and return it to the same state it was when you originally purchased it.
13) Reset the watch if it becomes unresponsive
Not having any buttons is a brave move, but it also means that when your Android Wear device crashes or becomes unresponsive, you can't do the old "hold the power button for ages" move to bring it back to life.
Fear not, though, as there's a reset button on the back of the device into which you can insert a pointed implement to reset the watch.
12) Adjust the brightness of the screen to make your battery last longer
Android Wear has several brightness settings and as you might expect, the brighter the screen, the shorter the battery life. If you can deal with the display lacking a little punch, then it's worth making the sacrifice - if only to squeeze a bit more time out of the power cell. Utter the phrase "OK Google" followed by "Settings" to get to the appropriate menu.
11) Take a photo using your smartwatch
Providing you have the latest version of Google's own camera application on your phone, you'll notice that the next time you fire it up, your watch will display a remote shutter button allowing you to take a snap even if you don't have the phone in your hand. This will prove especially handy for taking self-portraits, group shots and candid images of people sleeping on the train that you'll later post to Facebook for your own twisted amusement.
10) Enable developer settings
As is the case with the phone-based version of the Android OS, you can dig deep into the inner workings of Android Wear if you're that way inclined.
Say "OK Google" and then "Settings" to open the settings menu, then scroll down to "About" and tap it.
Find the "Build Number" entry and tap it repeatedly until you're told that you're now a developer.
9) Learn a new language
DuoLingo has pretty much revolutionized the way in which we learn new languages, turning the process into something akin to a video game. To make your linguistic education even more appealing, the developers have added support for Android Wear to the latest version of the app, so now you can practice your Spanish without having having to have your phone in your hand. Download the app from the Google Play store and brush up now.
8) Get an awesome binary watch face
Finding the default selection of watch faces to be a little too boring? Try out this awesome and unique binary alternative, which is free to download from the Google Play store. It takes a bit of getting used to but is sure to turn heads next time someone lays eyes on your shiny new timepiece.
SEE ALSO: Android 5.0 L Features List: What's new?
7) Play Flappy Bird on your wrist (kind of)
Android Wear isn't just home to apps - you can play games on it too.
One of the first titles is a clone of the insanely popular mobile hit Flappy Bird, only that the avian hero is replaced by the familiar Android robot.
It's not a revelation, but it is a fun distraction.
6) Open an app with your voice
Google doesn't want buttons on Android Wear watches for a reason - it wants you to use your voice to do pretty much everything, including opening applications. Just say "OK Google" and then "Open" followed by the name of the app you'd like to fire up. Simple.
SEE ALSO: Pebble watch review
5) Perform a voice search
Your Android Wear device isn't just for notifications and telling the time - it's a window in the world of Google's powerful web search, too.
Just say "OK Google" to prime the watch and then ask it a question, such as "How old is the Queen?" or "What's the capital of China?" The answer will be presented on your wrist. Now that's magic.
4) Take a note for future reference
Android users will already be aware of how useful the Keep application is - it allows you to take notes, make to-do lists and scrapbook web pages quickly and effortlessly. Those of you who rely on this app will be pleased to learn that it functions with Android Wear; you can quickly take voice notes without removing your phone from your pocket. Just say "OK Google", and then "Make a note".
3) Find your next meal using your watch
Allthecooks is an app that lets you to browse tasty meals and grab the recipe so you can recreate them in the comfort of your own kitchen. To make the process of shopping for ingredients a little bit easier, the app now comes with Android Wear functionality that pushes the shopping list to your watch screen - something that will come in handy when you're stumbling around the aisles at your local supermarket loaded up with ingredients. Wipe that drool from your mouth and download the app from the Google Play market.
2) Share your location quickly and easily
Lots of Android users already use Glympse to show friends and family their current location in a safe and secure manner, and the app now features support for Android Wear. Open the app on your watch and you can choose to send your current location and ETA to one of your most-used contacts. Just download the app from the Google Play store and you're on your way - quite literally.
1) Get a notification when your favourite band plays locally
Don't want to miss out on awesome local music? Bandsintown is the app for you, and it now boasts connectivity with Android Wear, which means the latest gig news will be beamed directly to your wrist, allowing you to pledge your allegiance and tell all of your friends you're planning on attending. Turn the volume down on your stereo and head over to the Google Play store to download it.