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Android Wear companion app gets big update, ahead of new firmware

Ahead of the big changes coming in the new Android Wear firmware, Google has now updated the Android Wear companion app.

Published onApril 22, 2015


Earlier this week Google officially announced a new update for the Android Wear platform adding Wi-Fi support, always-on apps, Emoji drawings, an easier way to access AW apps, and more. While we are still waiting for this update to roll out, Google has now introduced a new version of the Android Wear companion app that will be needed in order to take advantage of some of the new firmware features heading to our watches.

First up, the interface has been drastically improved, making better use of Material Design while adding new Google Now-like cards to the main screen that bring important info front and center. The settings have also been switched up a bit. Clicking on settings will give you a list of general settings, but you’ll need to tap on “Device Settings” to go to a new screen that contains options like tilt to wake, ambient screen, and other device-specific settings.

Aside from the aesthetic changes, there’s also some pretty important feature additions as well. The biggest change is the addition of cloud sync, which will basically let you use your watch through Wi-Fi, with no need for the phone to be within range anymore, as long as you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. Of course, this feature will require the upcoming firmware update before it can be utilized. Last but not least, the update makes it easy to pair multiple Wear device and quickly switch between them without needing to go back through the repairing process. Most of us only own one Android Wear watch, but for those that like different types of watches for different settings (formal, casual, etc) — this could eventually come in handy.

The latest update is rolling out gradually to Google Play, though you can grab the APK now if you wish to avoid the wait.

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