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I’ve just come back from a two-week vacation and as a true techie, I carried on using my G Watch as I would any normal day. More than just wearing it though, I leveraged my wearable to help me while traveling in a foreign country. Most of what I’m going to be talking about is directly related to using Google Now and of course that means an internet connection (more on this in a bit), but of course if you’re traveling in your home country then you needn’t worry. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep an eye on data roaming. Android Wear might be just getting off the ground, but Google’s knowledge graph has been around for some time now and it works brilliant with Android Wear and Google Now only helps.
If you are traveling overseas, then there are two big things that you’ll need to deal; language and currency. With Google and Android Wear you can easily get quick, glanceable info on both. Starting with currency, you can simply ask your watch “what is 45 euros in gbp” and get an instant answer, which is nice if you’re maybe planning on exchanging some cash, making a big purchase or whatever. On the phone, Google Now will automatically give you a 1-to-1 currency conversion so, for myself in Greece it was what 1 Euro to 1 Pound was which was pretty nifty. Being able to convert currency on the fly is hardly new, we’ve been able to on our smartphones for years now, but it works so naturally with Android Wear it can be really helpful.
When it comes to language, there’s something you can do before you leave and while you’re away. If you’re the type that likes to have some of the local tongue under your belt – as I do – then learning some simple phrases would be a good idea. Popular language app Duolingo added Android Wear support quite early on, and while all it does is put flash cards on your wrist, it’s a nice way of steadily building up your phrases and knowledge in the days and weeks before you take off. Google Translate is my personal favorite and it works great on Android Wear. To save on data costs, I downloaded the Greek and English languages for offline use while I was away. As such, I could simply say to my wrist “what’s good evening in Greek” and be given a simple card with the answer. Downloading the language for use offline was a very good idea as it meant I got the information nice and swiftly.
Right now though, that’s the best Android Wear has, which is a shame. Other little additions are the Google Now card that tells you what time it is back home carries across to your wrist and you’ll get two weather cards for home and wherever you may be, excellent for a Brit enjoying warmer weather. Another app well worth installing before you head off is Wear Aware (or something similar) that will alert you when your phone and watch disconnect with a big red sign and strong vibrations. Wear Aware could save you losing your phone to a pickpocket or leaving it behind after some drinks, as I did once. Have some tips for me? Shout out down below!