Security Patch Released For Some Android Wear Devices


Google have released security patches to the Android platform for over a year now and this includes Android Wear, which is receiving a security update for a number of devices. The current version of Android Wear, 1.4, is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and early reports highlight that the second generation Motorola Moto 360, LG G Watch R and Sony Smartwatch 3 are receiving the security update. We would expect other Android Wear smartwatches to receive the update in the coming days and weeks. This update, bringing the Android Wear build version to M1D63G, is not believed to be bringing with it any new features but instead addresses critical system vulnerabilities.

Wearable devices are still very much an emerging technology and since its introduction in 2014, Android Wear has been refined and developed. The code was originally based on Android 4.4 KitKat but has evolved through versions 5.0, 5.1 Lollipop and now, on 6.0 Marshmallow. Google is currently preparing a major platform update to Android Wear, bringing the version from 1.4 to 2.0 and basing it on the new Android 7.0 Nougat platform, which is set to be released in the coming weeks. Android Wear 2.0 will take longer to prepare and is not expected until the autumn. It will bring with it a revised user interface and other changes based on feedback and observations of users with the first generation Android Wear 1.x software; Google listened to how people interact with their watches and have paid particular attention to the messaging side of Android Wear. There will be a cleaner, slicker interface for handling notifications and Android Wear 2.0 devices will gain the ability to run applications natively on the device, so will be less reliant on the "parent" smartphone that the watch is paired with. Unfortunately, a number of early generation Android Wear devices will not support the newer version of Android Wear, although many of these models are close to two years old as the software and devices were originally released at or shortly after Google I/O 2014. If these Android Wear devices follow the same support model as Google's Nexus smartphones, owners can expect another year of security patch support.

Meanwhile, if you own an Android Wear device you can check for the software update by visiting the Settings menu, then About and tapping onto System Updates when the device is connected to your smartphone. Android Wear will check if there are any new updates ready and waiting.

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Senior Staff Writer

I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.

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