You've bought yourself a shiny new Android Wear watch, and a world of wrist notifications, smart gestures and mini apps awaits. But first you need to get your watch hooked up to Wi-Fi and your phone.
With the rollout of Android Wear 2.0, watches like the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 and LG Watch Sport can do much more on their own, but it's still important to connect them to your mobile for managing apps and watch faces, and controlling other functions. We've penned this guide to get you up and running in no time at all.
Essential reading: Android Wear tips and tricks
Note: If you're using Android Wear with an iPhone, check our dedicated guide – the instructions below are for Android users. We're also using an Android Wear 2.0 watch, though the setup process is largely the same for older versions of the software.
1. Charging and connecting
To get ready to connect, you need your new smartwatch fully charged up, your phone nearby, and the official Android Wear app installed on your mobile. It's possible to link several smartwatches with a single phone, though you can only have one connected at any one time.
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Power up your watch if you need to (usually with a long push on the power button) and it automatically takes you through the setup process, so just follow the instructions on the small screen.
You'll need to choose your language (on the watch), then launch the Android Wear app (on your phone) — if Bluetooth is enabled on both devices, you should see a prompt inside the app to get connected straight away, but if not choose Add a new watch from the menu at the top. When you see the watch name appear, select it and confirm the connection.
That's all there is to it. The Android Wear app then checks for updates, which might take some time to download, and you'll also be asked which of the Google accounts registered on your phone you want to use with your watch (this syncs contacts, messages, music and so on over).
2. Getting started with Android Wear
After a few more minutes of wait, you'll see a message confirming everything is connected, and then it's time to start playing around with your watch and exploring all the features it's got to offer.
You can, for instance, change around the watch face either through the Android Wear app on your phone, or by swiping to the right on the existing watch face itself. Browsing faces is probably easier on your phone, so tap the More button next to Watch faces to see a selection, and tap Get more watch faces to see even more. Meanwhile you can tap and hold on the watch face on the watch itself to set which information is displayed.
There are also some settings you're going to want to play around with - on the watch, drag down from the front screen then tap the cog icon. You can adjust font size, screen brightness, and turn the "always on" mode on or off under the Display heading, for example, while under the Gestures menu you can turn certain gestures on or off, like tilting your wrist to "wake up" the watch face.
The Android Wear app on your phone has some settings of its own: just tap the cog icon from the front screen (top right) then choose your watch to see them. The options let you check battery and storage levels, and configure the "always on" and "tilt-to-wake" features we just mentioned. From the main Settings menu you can also block certain apps from generating notifications on your phone.
3. Installing apps
With the arrival of Android Wear 2.0, watch apps can do much more without the help of a connected phone. Tap the power button on your watch to see existing apps, and choose the Play Store entry from the list to find new ones — a lot of them you'll recognise from browsing the Google Play Store on your phone. Just tap on any app to install it.
If you have a smartwatch running the latest Android Wear software, you should also check out the built-in Google Assistant. Hold down the exterior crown button, speak out your query, and the Assistant will get back to you: try asking what the weather's like, or telling the Google Assistant to set an alarm.
The Android Wear 2.0 watches we've tested are much more reliable than earlier models at getting (and keeping) a connection to your phone, but if you do run into trouble then check the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections on the watch are up and running — choose settings from the apps list and you'll find them under Connectivity.
A reset will often help iron out any bugs you might come across, and you can force one through the System menu in Settings. You should also make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your phone as well as your watch, and keep it away from other Bluetooth devices (such as headphones) while you're trying to connect.
Android Wear 2.0 essentials
- Android Wear 2.0 features to try out firstEverything you need to know about Google's revamped OS
- When will your smartwatch get Android Wear 2.0Details on Moto, LG, Asus, Fossil, Tag, Casio, Huawei, Polar, Sony, Nixon and more
- Android Wear 2.0 apps to download firstSupercharge your wrist with this selection of must-have apps