Android Wear 5.1.1 Officially has Battery Drain Issues

June 17, 2015 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Since it’s launch this time last year, Android Wear has gone through a number of significant updates that have not only changed the way the software looks but how it operates too.  The latest Android Wear update brings it to version parity with the latest versions of Android for Google’s Nexus lineup of phones, Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.  It also adds a ton of new features including the ability to put your watch on a WiFi network instead of using Bluetooth so you don’t have to be tethered to your phone as long as a hotspot is available, added gesture controls and more.  But this update hasn’t rolled out to every Android Wear smartwatch just yet, most notably the Moto 360, and it looks like there’s a very good reason for that.

Google hosts a product forum for people who are having issues with Android based devices, and sometimes these problems are caused by bugs in the code that makes up Android.  In this particular case some users started reporting battery drain issues after having the Android 5.1.1 update added to their Sony Smartwatch 3.  Other users started noticing the same problems, except it wasn’t just on the Smartwatch 3, but the LG G Watch R and LG Watch Urbane.  Right now it doesn’t seem to affect every single Android Wear smartwatch out there, as my Samsung Gear Live definitely doesn’t have any sort of battery drain issues, but it seems to be a big problem right now.

Thankfully Google has officially acknowledged it as an Android Wear bug and is working diligently to identify the actual problem and issue an update to solve it.  If you check out the Google product forums below you’ll find all the users who have posted as well as the official response from Google saying that they’ve acknowledged the problem.  For now it appears that a simple reboot fixes the issue for many users, leading some to believe it’s a memory leak that’s keeping the watch running for longer than it should on a given task.  Once the update is issued we’ll be sure to let you know, and be sure to accept those official updates when they roll out!