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Features

Options include a screen always on feature and a “tilt to wake screen” setting, to light the screen automatically.

Users can find directions by voice from the phone, choose transport mode, including bike, and start a journey. While traveling, the watch shows directions, and vibrates to indicate turns by feel.

Via Google Fit and similar applications, Wear OS supports ride and run tracking (“OK Google, start a run”). On devices sporting the needed sensor, heart activity can be sampled automatically through the day or on demand (“OK Google, what’s my heart rate”). Step-counting, calorie expenditure etc. are also monitored. These features work within the Fit ecosystem, allowing integration with companion devices and applications. The watch reinforces achievements with cards noting goal attainment, when a goal is near, summaries of heart, and body activity.

Users can use their Wear OS watch to control their phone. Music can be requested (for instance, “OK Google, play Deep Purple”). The screen then shows a card for play-control, volume, skip, media images, allowing music to be controlled from the wrist with the user free to move.

Starting with version 2.16 users can swipe right to bring up an Assistant page with useful information similar to the Android Assistant on phones, or swipe left to display Google Fit information. This replaces the old functionality of swiping left or right to change the watch face.

Notifications

The vibration engine alerts users about important notifications originating from a user-selectable set of applications. Wear OS provides multiple options for replying, including Google Voice Typing for dictating responses to messages, and spoken or drawn emoticons.

Intelligent notifications from Google Now are supported including traffic, flights, hotel check-in, meeting alerts, location- and time-based reminders, weather and sport, stocks, flight status, boarding passes, restaurant bookings, etc.

Users can receive messages sent to them via Google Hangouts, and respond with a voice message. Users can also set the alarm by using ‘Okay Google’ on Wear OS. Currently new SMS can be initiated from the watch. Wear OS 5.1.1 supports drawing to reply, which uses AI to interpret the user’s sketch as an emoji character. Search by voice is fully supported. Google Now searches such as “How tall is Nicole Kidman” result in Knowledge Graph cards appearing on screen, with options to open the search result on another device.

If the phone’s camera app is activated, the screen is relayed to the watch, and the user can control the shutter, and view photos on the watch. Third-party applications support using the phone camera as a streaming device, or more varied camera control.

Events appear as cards on screen. “OK Google, show my agenda” will display the user’s agenda. Watch faces also support marking out appointments (for instance with contrasting color to show periods with an appointment, and/or illuminating a lighted “count-down” line for upcoming appointments.

Note taking is fully supported via Google Keep and other note-apps, as is marking-off check lists etc. Via voice commands such as “OK Google, remind me to call Roy at work”, or “Remind me to baste the chicken in 25 minutes” the user can create location and time-based reminders, set alarms, timers etc. which appear on the watch at the appropriate time or place.

Many applications have been released, with developers such as Evernote etc. creating new functionality on the watch: for instance, handing off notes to the watch screen when the user turns off their phone screen. Location-based applications like Foursquare show suitable nearby venues, allow check-in etc.

Fix a problem

Can’t add a card or it was removed

Can’t add a card

If you’re having trouble using your card with Google Pay, double-check the list of participating banks and supported cards.

If you have questions or feedback about your card, contact your bank.

Seeing “Network error” while adding a card

Make sure your phone is nearby. Your phone and watch should have Bluetooth turned on and an internet connection (either cellular or Wi-Fi).

Card was automatically removed

For your security, cards added to Google Pay on your watch are deleted when your screen lock is removed. To re-add your card, open Google Pay on your watch, add a screen lock, and then add your card again.

Watch says “Can’t connect” or “Can’t check accounts” or says to restart phone

Watch says “Can’t connect” and freezes when adding a card

  1. Make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is on.
  2. On your phone, open the Wear OS by Google app .
  3. At the top, make sure it says “Connected.”
  4. On your watch, open the Google Pay app and try to connect again.

Watch says “Can’t check accounts” when you open the app

To fix this error, update the Google Pay app.

  1. On your watch, open the Play Store app .
  2. Swipe down from the top and tap My Apps.
  3. Scroll down the page and tap Google Pay.
  4. Tap Update.
  5. Re-open the Google Pay app.

App says to restart phone

  1. Restart your phone (not your watch).
  2. Wait 30 – 60 seconds. This makes sure your phone has installed updates needed to use your watch.
  3. On your watch, open Google Pay and tap Retry .

Loading circle doesn’t stop

Close the Google Pay app on your watch and open it again. If that doesn’t work, restart the watch by holding down the power button.

Trouble using Google Pay on watch in stores

3. Hold your watch at the terminal longer

Try holding the NFC on your watch over the terminal until it beeps and your watch vibrates.

You can also try holding your watch against the terminal in a different position. This helps because your watch talks to the terminal using NFC (Near Field Communication). Most watches’ NFC antenna is behind the screen but check your watch’s manual for the exact location.

Manage your cards

Pay with a non-default card

The first card you add to Google Pay is used unless you choose to use another card. Here’s how:

  1. On your watch, open the Google Pay app .
  2. Scroll to the card you want to use. When you see “Hold to terminal,” it’s ready to use.
  3. Hold your watch against the contactless payment terminal until you hear a sound or feel vibration from your watch.
  4. If you’re using a debit card:
    1. Choose “credit”
    2. If asked, enter the pin you set up with your bank

Change default card

  1. On your watch, open the Google Pay app .
  2. Scroll to the card you want to use as default and then tap it.
  3. From the bottom, swipe up on More .
  4. Tap Set as default card .

Remove a card

  1. On your watch, open the Google Pay app .
  2. Scroll to the card you want to remove and then tap it.
  3. From the bottom, swipe up on More .
  4. Tap Remove .

See past purchases

  1. On your watch, open the Google Pay app .
  2. Tap a card.
  3. Swipe up on the card to view your transactions.

History and compatibility

Logo for Android Wear, the previous name of the operating system

The platform was announced on March 18, 2014, along with the release of a developer preview. At the same time, companies such as Motorola, Samsung, LG, HTC and Asus were announced as partners. On June 25, 2014, at Google I/O, the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch were launched, along with further details about Android Wear. The LG G Watch is the first Android Wear smartwatch to be released and shipped.
Motorola’s Moto 360 was released on September 5, 2014.

On December 10, 2014, an update started to roll out, adding new features including a watch face API and changed the software to be based on Android 5.0 ”Lollipop”.

The LG G Watch and Gear Live started shipping in July 2014, while the Moto 360 began shipping in September 2014. The next batch of Android Wear devices, which arrived at the end of 2014, included the Asus ZenWatch, the Sony SmartWatch 3, and the LG G Watch R. As of March 2015, the latest Wear OS devices are the LG Watch Urbane, and the Huawei Watch.

On August 31, 2015, Google launched pairing application for iOS version 8.2 or newer, allowing limited support for receiving iOS notifications on smartwatches running Wear OS. As of September 2015, only the LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch are supported, but Google announced support for more smartwatch models.

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