It was nearly three years ago, in March 2014, that Android Wear was first released to the public as a way of linking a smartwatch to your Android (and iPhone) smartphone. Android Wear 2.0 was released back in February 2017 with some pretty big changes to how the user interface was going to be for Android Wear smartwatches. The cards changed from white cards to grey background, full screen cards. The settings menu changed and Google Assistant was added.
As much as Android Wear seems simple to use and wearable straight out of the box, once synced with your smartphone, there are a lot of hidden gems inside the software which can help to make your experience with your smartwatch that bit better. With this, here are some tips all Android Wear 2.0 users can make note of.
Increase Performance from Disabling ‘Ok Google Detection’
A big problem with Android Wear smartwatches is that the processors inside them are not the fastest by any means. When loaded with a lot of software and complicated watch faces, you may find the performance of your watch to significantly decrease, with stuttering between cards and lag when trying to wake your watch.
This should definitely not happen. But, it does and a potential culprit to the slow speed can be found in Settings/Personalisation/’Ok Google Detection’ as turned on. What this does is allow your smartwatch to be constantly using its microphone to pick up on when you say ‘Ok Google’ to use Google Assistant. However, the problem with this is such a background task takes up a lot of processor power. Therefore, if you can live without saying ‘Ok Google’ to your watch by disabling it, you will find the performance of your watch to significantly increase.
Watch Faces Affect Battery Life
When it comes to choosing what watch face style you want on your Android Wear smartwatch, most people will choose a face that matches their style and functionality they want from a watch. The problem is that not all watch faces are kind to the battery life of your smartwatch. This can generally be found most evident with OLED smartwatches, since they have the capacity to individually turn off pixels to save energy and have blacker blacks.
Choosing a watch face that does not have a black background in ambient mode means all of the pixels are in use, eating away at the battery. Whereas, if you pick one with a black background, the black areas of the screen, in any mode, will not be in use and consuming power, increasing your watch’s battery life.
Use Android Pay
Most Android Wear smartwatches now come with updated technology inside of them, being NFC compatible. What this means is that you can now pay for contact-less transactions using your smartwatch.
To set up Android Pay, you will need to give the watch permission as well as set up a secure lock, either pin or numerical, in case your watch is stolen. Once done, you have saved yourself the time of 1) not only taking out your wallet to pay by card but 2) taking out your phone to pay contact-less.