Google is getting you ready for all those new Android Wear features by doing some remodeling to its smartwatch companion app.
Version 1.1 of the Android Wear app cleans up the interface and loads in some new features, like letting you pair with several watches and enabling your watch to stay connected over Wi-Fi. Google is also using the update as a chance to remind you about letting your watch count your steps and save that info in Google Fit.
Most watches have Wi-Fi capabilities, but they’ve been dormant without the software support. If that’s the case for your watch this update should flip it on. You’ll get a pop-up message after updating, asking if you want to turn the feature on. It gives you some extra flexibility in that you won’t need to always be in Bluetooth range of your phone in order for your watch to perform certain functions. You can wait the update from the Play Store or grab it from APK Mirror.
Google recently showed us a batch of new features, such as always-on support for apps, an ambient mode for better battery life, a new flick-your-wrist gesture and a contacts launcher. Most of those will come in a firmware update to your Android Wear watch, not the companion app.
Why this matters: The perceived success of the Apple Watch seems to have spurned Google to jump into high gear, as some of the features, especially the ability to draw an Emoji, feel like an effort to catch up to the Apple Watch. Yet Google also seems committed to a key differentiator with Apple, letting you tweak your watch with various settings and supporting a variety of different hardware.