While I have the LG G Watch for a limited time, I figured it might be a good time to do a walkthrough of Android Wear for anyone still wondering, “what the heck does it do?”. Without further ado, here’s what the heck it does…
Android Wear Features
Android Wear Timeline
Similar to Google Glass (walkthrough of that available here) and VERY reminiscent of Google Now, Android Wear’s UI is centered around the concept of a linear timeline. The first home screen has your time and whatever the latest notification is at the bottom. Swiping up from this first screen then brings you to other notifications (in the form of cards) in reverse chronological order (so latest at the top and older as you go further down). When on any of these cards, you can swipe to the right to dismiss it, or swipe to the left to open up more info about that particular notification and also bring up actions you can perform with it (i.e. Reply for a text or email, History for steps to see other days and your step count, etc.).
And… that’s pretty much it to the entire UI really. Simple, in a good way.
Next, let’s discuss what actions you can take with the watch.
Google Voice Commands
Tapping on the first screen of the watch or saying “Ok, Google” while it’s open will start the Google Now voice prompt where you can speak commands to the watch:
- Take a note – opens Google Keep and takes a quick note.
- Remind me – sets a Reminder using Google Keep that as a time and an alarm associated with it.
- Show me my steps – Since Android Wear tracks your steps, this shows you how well you are doing. Keep on truckin’.
- Send a text – Saying a name after this will start a text to that person then you can say the message.
- Email – Same as text, but for email oddly enough…
- Agenda – Shows you all of the events for today from your Google calendar.
- Navigate to – Mentioning a place after this will start Google Maps and begin navigating you to that destination (complete with turn by turn directions that display on the watch).
- Set a timer – Starts a countdown at whatever time you say.
- Start stopwatch – Begins the stopwatch app (you then have to tap on it to start and stop the stopwatch).
- Set an alarm – Saying a time after this, then sets an alarm to go off at that particular time.
- Show alarms – Shows you a list of alarms.
- Settings – Opens the settings app, you can then scroll through to change Android Wear settings.
- Start – The way you open apps. Saying the app name after this opens the app (only works for Android Wear enabled apps). Psst, there’s a better way to open apps on Android Wear.
In addition to saying the above commands, if you swipe up on the voice command prompt you can then tap on them as well (and then say what it is you want to be reminded about, navigate to, etc.)
Android Wear App
Finally, we need to address the companion app that you load on your Android phone when you pair your Android Wear device with it.
When you first turn on the Android Wear device, it notifies you to download the, aptly named, Android Wear app from the Play Store onto your phone. After doing that, you’ll go through a pairing process (similar to any Bluetooth pairing process) and then you can start using the Android Wear device immediately after that. But, if you want to make some changes to how it works, you can open the Android Wear app and change the following things:
- What apps it associates with each action – This means you can go in and change the Agenda app to a third-party one so that when you say, Show me my Agenda, it grabs it from that app instead of the standard one. Same goes for timer, alarm, steps, stopwatch, call a car, and I’m sure more to come.
- Change basic watch settings – Things like muting the notifications, have the screen always on or not, change whether you get alerted on the watch AND the phone or not, etc.
That first thing, changing the apps associated with actions, is sort of a big deal in my opinion. No longer are you stuck with just the standard apps, in the same way that you aren’t stuck with the standard apps for texting, phone calls, etc. on regular Android. Only downside is that, at the moment at least, there aren’t very many apps to use in their place. This will, of course, change as more developers start creating things for Android Wear.
So there you go, Android Wear. Is it what you expected? Are you thinking about getting one?
Have an LG G Watch already? Head to our LG G Watch How To’s section for all the fun things you can do with it.