Android Wear was Google’s response to the smartwatch category of mobile devices that had sprung up over the past few years. The operating system uses an adjusted version of Google’s Android operating system to run on watches and offers notifications from your phone, as well as the ability to use certain apps and perform Google searches using your voice alone. However, certain functionalities that we had come to expect from smartwatches weren’t onboard Android Wear, but Google stated in September that it had plans to update the OS.
The first update Google stated that would make its way to Android Wear devices included GPS and offline music playback capabilities, which means that Wear watches can be used without a phone to track the user’s activities and listen to music through Bluetooth. A second update is stated to add native support for watch faces, something that users have complained about given that there isn’t much customisation they can make to their watch faces. It seems like LG’s G Watch is the first device to run Android Wear to start benefiting from these updates.
Several users across the internet on GooglePlus and Reddit have reported receiving an Over The Air update that updates their version of Android Wear to 4.4W.2, with the a build number of KNX01Q. This update includes the first wave of features; the GPS and Bluetooth music support. However, the LG G Watch can only benefit from the music playback abilities of the update, given that it does not have a GPS chip. The only watch that can actually benefit from this update is the upcoming Sony Smartwatch 3, which is still marked as ‘coming soon’ on Google’s Play Store.
As for the music capabilities of the update, there’s now a new ‘Play Music’ option that appears in the watch’s menu, and the watch is now capable of pairing with Bluetooth audio devices, such as your phone or tablet. It’s still unclear as to how to transfer music to your watch and whether or not the option only starts playing music from the phone or from the watch itself. It’s possible that there’s an upcoming update to the Android Wear application on devices that will unlock this music feature and shed light on how to use it.
As always, the update is being rolled out to users with the LG G Watch so keep clicking that ‘System Updates’ button on your watches.