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Android Wear update brings WiFi to certain smartwatches

A new update to the Android Wear platform will allow certain wearables to use WiFi connection along with some other new features.

A May update for Android Wear has just been announced and it will include a handful of new features for smartwatches. Always-on apps and an option to keep the screen continuously lit have been added, meaning that wearers no longer need to tap the watch face or twist their wrists for the screen to stay active. That feature will probably have some impact on battery life while in use.

The update also brings new wrist gestures, the option to draw emojis, heads-up notifications, and the ability to change font size. With the new update it will also be possible to connect multiple smartwatches to a single smartphone, which is great for those who like some variety in their wearables. Probably the most highly anticipated feature offered with Android Wear 5.1.1 is WiFi connectivity. This essentially means users can connect to a WiFi hotspot to keep their watches synced with their phones in case bluetooth connection fails. The only smartwatches to receive this feature are the LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360, Sony Smartwatch 3, and Samsung Gear Live.

This update will release gradually to the different Android Wear devices over the next few weeks. Owners of the LG Watch Urbane and LG G Watch R will be the first to make the move to 5.1.1, with the rest receiving the update sometime soon. With the new software rolling out slowly, and with some features releasing for a select few watches, Android's watch OS may need some unification in the following iterations.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2015 05 > Android Wear update brings WiFi to certain smartwatches
Joseph Lambert, 2015-05-21 (Update: 2015-05-21)