Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Everything you were afraid to ask about your new smartwatch

Android Wear can be a complicated and frustrating beast at times, whether your smartwatch is rocking the fresh Wear 2.0 software or something older.

That's why we've put together the ultimate Android Wear guide of guides to help you with everything from setting up your smartwatch to choosing the best apps, games and watch faces and getting music onto your device.

If we've missed anything let us know in the comments below.

Understanding your smartwatch

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

What is Android Wear? If this is your first smartwatch, or even first wearable, it's handy to get to grips with how Android Wear smartwatches work and what each one does first.

The absolute basics are this: you need an Android smartphone with Bluetooth, or an iPhone, to use your smartwatch. And it helps if your phone, Gmail, calendar and maps are all under the same – or linked – Google accounts to get the most from the Wear experience.

Our comprehensive guide to Android Wear goes into a lot more detail on the operating system, features, Google Now and apps.

Read our essential guide to Android Wear.

Choosing the best smartwatch for you

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

If you haven't actually bought an Android Wear device yet and you're undecided about which will be best for you, check out our round-up of the best Android Wear smartwatches.

It summarises which features and functions appear (or don't appear) on all smartwatches on sale now. For instance, watches like the Polar M600 and the LG Watch Sport have GPS, and the Sony SmartWatch 3 doesn't support Android Wear 2.0.

The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is one of the best looking Wear watches but it's also the most expensive. We can help you find something that's affordable but also still looks the part.

How to set up Android Wear

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Once your Wear watch is out of the box, it's a pretty straightforward process to get it set up and connected to your Android phone. But it can be tricky for beginners to know which step to do first – when do you turn Bluetooth on? What should you do if it doesn't pair first time?

Our guide to setting up and connecting Android Wear takes you through it step by step with tips on which settings to dive into first.

How to use Android Wear with an iPhone

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Get your Google and iPhone fix with our handy guide to setting up your Android Wear watch with iOS and making the most of the features on offer.

Find out what you can and can't do with Android Wear paired to an iPhone, and check which devices an iPhone is compatible with. We also take you through the new iPhone app to smooth out any initial quibbles you might have.

Remember, Android Wear 2.0 increased what you can do when pairing your watch to your iPhone too.

Picking the best watch face

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

One of the first things you will do once your smartwatch is paired is to swap out the watch face for one that suits you. Every Android Wear watch has a few pre-installed faces, which you can access by pressing and holding on the watch face screen then swiping though them.

But things get more interesting when you head to Google Play to download free and paid-for watch faces from indie developers and designer names. From Gundam to weather to creating your own, the selection, which now includes interactive watch faces, has options to suit both round and square smartwatches.

Read our pick of the best Android Wear watch faces you can download and check out our guide to both official and – if you want to look further afield – custom watch faces on your Android Wear smartwatch.

How to install apps on Android Wear

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

If you're an avid user of apps on your Android phone, or you've played around with watchfaces, installing apps from Google Play should be a doddle. It's worth noting that any smartphone apps which are compatible with Wear will automatically work.

For new downloads, check our step-by-step guide to finding, installing and launching Android Wear apps.

Choosing the best Android Wear apps

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

With more than 5,000 apps and games available to use with Android Wear, there should be something for everyone. As ever, check out reviews and star ratings on Google Play for guidance, but a lot of these apps are free and so worth a punt to try them out on your wrist.

To help you sift through the tat, here's some of the most useful Android Wear apps you can download.

How to use voice on Android Wear

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Feeling a bit shy about talking to your smartwatch? It's actually one of the most accurate voice control systems we've used yet on a gadget, so chances are Android Wear will pick up your dictation or request without you having to repeat yourself three times in the street.

So what can it do? Here's some conversation starters to get you going with voice commands on Android Wear.

How to get music on Android Wear

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Controlling the music on your Android smartphone is one thing but did you know you can store your own music on Android Wear smartwatches? That means if you're out on a run, you can connect Bluetooth headphones to the watch and leave your phone at home.

Read on for our guide to activating offline listening, syncing tracks and listening to music straight from your Android Wear smartwatch.

Android Wear tips, tricks and secrets

Android Wear super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Finally, if there's anything we missed – any niggles you can't work out or useful tricks to help keep an eye on battery or get back notifications – it will be here in our guide to secret features and hidden options which you might not notice in your first few weeks of wearing an Android Wear smartwatch.

Read our Android Wear tips and tricks guide.

Shop for recommended Android Wear watches on Amazon

Huawei Watch 2
Huawei Watch 2
Emporio Armani Connected
Emporio Armani Connected
Polar M600
Polar M600
Michael Kors Access Sofie
Michael Kors Access Sofie

Wareable may get a commission


  • signor91 says:

    hey, thanks for the guide. I was wondering if any of the android watches support android pay? 

  • Gangaappdevelop says:

    In May 2015, Google reported that it received more search queries on mobile devices than on desktop devices. The shift has incentivized Google to reward websites that render well on mobile devices. App development companies  are scaling up their infrastructure and delivery capability to meet up the demand.

  • germain-philips says:

    TTrès bons articles utiles pour les utilisateurs de smartwatches!

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.