If you've dipping your toe into the world of wearables for the first time Android Wear can be confusing; but working out how to get your new Moto 360 2 or LG Watch Urbane set up and connected to your smartphone can be quick and simple, if you know how, and we've penned this guide to help you get started.
As we mentioned in our updated Android Wear review, Google's OS remains a work in progress, but a future of wrist-based notifications and seamless voice commands awaits.
Essential reading: Android Wear tips and tricks
Dispense with the supplied pamphlet and instead follow our painless step-by-step guide to getting up and running with your new wearable. We'll cover connecting it to your phone, installing the necessary software and configuring the linked apps.
All you're going to need is your smartwatch, your Android phone and a power socket for charging purposes, and you should allow yourself ten minutes or so to complete the process.
Note: If you're using Android Wear with an iPhone, check our dedicated guide – the instructions below are for Android users.
The following guide is for watches still running Android Wear 1.x. We'll be updating this guide for Wear 2.0 users ASAP.
1. Unbox and get ready to connect
Your new Android Wear gadget isn't going to dazzle you with a dead battery, so make sure it's fully charged via its USB cable, proprietary charger or dock before you start playing around with it. Be careful to remove any protective covers or films first. You should see a small notification appear that lets you know when it's actually taking on juice.
2. Pair Android Wear to your smartphone
Once your watch has the power to talk to you, it'll ask you to choose a language and then tell you to install Android Wear on your phone. You can find it in Google Play, free of charge, and it will immediately request to pair with an Android Wear device.
Choose your watch from the list (probably of one) then confirm the link on both your phone's screen and the smartwatch's display. If you don't see your new gadget in the Android Wear app, make sure it's close to your smartphone and that Bluetooth is enabled on your handset in settings.
The app will also prompt you to activate notification access for Android Wear: it's just a toggle switch in settings that you'll be directed to.
3. Get to grips with Android Wear gestures
Android Wear is controlled by swiping in different directions: swipe right-to-left to see more detail about the current card, left-to-right to dismiss it, and bottom-to-top to move between apps and options on your watch.
Must see: Android Wear super guide
Swiping down from the top of the screen now gives you muting options (all, priority etc) for those cinema trips/executive business meetings. With the new Android Wear update, there's also a new movement gesture. Until now flicking your wrist has meant that the screen simply turns on but now when you are viewing Now cards you can flick your wrist away from you to go forward one card, towards you to go back.
4. Watch settings
With the Android Wear update, the UI and settings has had a bit of an update.
There's now menus for Wear apps and contacts but keep swiping to get to settings in the 'old' Android Wear menu. Here you find all the ways you can customise the watch from the device itself: you can tweak the brightness, change the always-on setting, manage Wi-Fi (another new feature), activate aeroplane mode, restart the device or reset it completely if something's gone drastically wrong (or you want to flog it on eBay).
5. Phone settings
Other settings can be found in the Android Wear app you installed on your smartphone. The front screen shows you which smartwatch is connected as well as which apps are associated with which task, like the Clock for setting an alarm or Google Fit for count steps — tap on any entry to make changes.
You can also manage the always-on screen, card previews, actions and resyncing apps.
Select the small cogs icon and you're able to block notifications for specific apps, just in case you don't want your wrist buzzing every time someone sends you an email. You can also turn calendar event cards on and off, opt to show or hide cards when the smartwatch's screen is dimmed and choose to mute notifications on your phone when connected to the watch.
6. Change your Android Wear watchface
One man's Rolex is another man's Casio, and every Android Wear watch has a number of watch faces that you can choose between.
You can now browse and install over 50 watchfaces from Google Play including a fresh batch of 17 'designer' watchfaces from the likes of Bang & Olufsen and Muji and a Google Fit watchface.
There's also a range of round watchfaces designed for the Moto 360, LG and Huawei smartwatches. Once installed, tap and hold on your smartwatch's screen to bring up the gallery — swipe left and right until you see something that matches your mood and sartorial style. Tap once to select it.
There's not much that can go wrong with the Android Wear setup process — if you encounter problems, that old IT favourite of rebooting your devices should be able to clear up any issues.
As we've already mentioned, Bluetooth needs to be enabled on your phone for the devices to talk to one another: you should be able to find the option prominently displayed in the Settings app, but it's exact location will vary depending on the version of Android your phone has.
If you're having trouble pairing, keep the smartwatch close and make sure there aren't any Bluetooth headphones or other devices nearby.
Shop for recommended Android Wear watches on Amazon
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