Smartwatch Hacks – 10 Wear OS Tips And Tricks
A friend of mine recently got a new Huawei Watch 2 after he did his research on the best smartwatches of 2018. My friend is an Android user, and the main reason he chose this smartwatch was because it ran on Wear OS (previously Android Wear).A few days after he bought it, I asked him about his experience with his new smartwatch. He told me that while he enjoys using it and absolutely loves it, he sometimes gets confused due to the many features available. Later that day, I thought about making this list of Smartwatch Hacks.
It’s no question that Google added lots of great features to the new Wear OS, and it is surely becoming more and more useful. But just like any other piece of technology, it takes a while before you’re really comfortable with it and are able to use these features easily.
With that being said, here is my list of Smartwatch Hacks – 10 Wear OS Tips and Tricks to help you familiarize yourself with Wear OS.
Adding new watch faces
I really believe that your smartwatch’s watch face is one of the most important aspects of your watch, since you will be seeing it a lot throughout the day. For this reason, you must pick a watch face that fits your liking. Fortunately, the latest Wear OS smartwatches are highly customizable and have more than one watch face available.
While most smartwatches already offer different watch faces for you to choose from, Google has a wide selection of additional watch faces on the Play Store. Once you’ve picked a watch face that you like, you can download it from your phone or smartwatch.
Some apps like WatchMaker have a huge collection of watch faces that make it easier for you to customize your smartwatch.
Switch between watch faces easily
Now that you’ve got all those new watch faces installed, the next thing you will want to do would be to start customizing your smartwatch. Fortunately, switching between all the watch faces installed on your smartwatch is very easy to do, and you can literally use different watch faces for different situations or activities.
After the new watch faces are installed, all you need to do is to swipe left or right from your current watch face and you will be able to navigate between the different watch faces installed.
Moreover, if you want to delete some of the watch faces you’ve installed, you simply need to swipe it up or down in this screen.
Pin your most used apps
One of the most important functions of a smartwatch is to help make things a lot easier for you right? This is the reason why Wear OS allows you to install stand-alone apps on your smartwatch, and there are currently a lot of useful apps available on the Google Play Store.
However, once you have a lot of apps installed on your smartwatch, it may become more difficult and confusing to navigate such a long list.
Fortunately, Google has also added a solution for this problem. You can easily pin your favorite and most used apps to the top of the menu by pressing and holding down the app’s icon for about a second.
Scribble your messages
Another neat feature added to the latest Wear OS smartwatches is messaging capabilities. But smartwatch screens are pretty small and typing on its keyboard could sometimes prove to be a challenge.
Good thing there is an option to scribble your messages on the watch’s screen. You only need to use your fingers and write out letters as you would normally do, and these letters are then turned into words.
However, this system may not be perfect as of now, and you may find the need to switch between scribbling and using the keyboard for constructing messages. But it is good to know that you have more than one option when it comes to writing messages.
Talk to your smartwatch
One of the best features of Wear OS is Google Assistant. With Google Assistant you can give a command directly to your smartwatch by simply talking to it directly. I think this is a really cool feature because you get access to the other functions of your smartwatch without using your hands.
It is very simple to do; you only need to utter the words “OK Google” at your smartwatch’s active screen. After this, you can simply voice out your command and Google Assistant does the rest. Pretty cool right?
You can use this to do a lot of things. For instance, to send messages, make phone calls, play some music, create reminders, set alarms and a whole lot more.
See a list of available voice commands
As I said before, Google Assistant allows you to give commands directly to your smartwatch. There are a number of voice commands you can use for different types of tasks.
If you’re still new to using voice commands, your Wear OS smartwatch has a list of suggested voice commands that you can try.
To review this list, simply hold down the power button. After a moment, Google Assistant opens, and then you need to say the words “Show me a list of voice commands”.
You can then see a list of the suggested voice commands so that you can figure out which one is most useful to you. Some examples of these voice commands are:
- Define (word)
- Call (name of contact)
- Start (name of app)
- Set an alarm
- Play (title of song)
Use Android Pay for cashless payments
This is another great feature that makes smartwatches incredibly useful. Being able to make payments with just your smartwatch is incredibly easier and more convenient that using your smartphone or cash.
It is pretty easy to set up, just download the Android Pay app on your phone and set everything up there first. After you’re done setting it up, you now need to go to your smartwatch and set up a new card. After that, go back to your phone again and verify your account.
The only downside here is that it is not yet available for some countries. Hopefully in the future it will be.
Block notifications from certain apps
In my opinion, displaying notifications from your smartphone directly to your wrist is one of the most basic yet one of the most important features in a smartwatch. With this feature, you can easily check your notifications on your smartwatch first, and from there decide whether or not there is a need to pull out your smartphone.
To make this feature better, Google has added the option to block notifications from certain apps. I think this is pretty useful and could save you some time, not to mention a little bit of battery life.
In order to do this, go to the Wear OS app on your phone, then hit Settings and block app notifications. You can then select the apps that you want to block.
Mute notifications on your smartwatch, but not your smartphone
Even though I just said that being able to display notifications is probably the most important feature in a smartwatch, you still do have the option to totally turn off notifications on your smartwatch.
I wouldn’t want to turn off notifications on my smartwatch myself, but maybe there are some reasons for you to do this. Maybe you’re trying to save some battery life, or maybe you just don’t want to be disturbed for a while.
Either way, you can turn off notifications by swiping down on the watch face and tapping the “do not disturb icon”.
Don’t you just hate it when you’re in the theater, enjoying a good movie, then someone in front of you whips out their smartphone, lights up the whole place and temporarily blinds you? Maybe I’m exaggerating here a bit, but it is annoying when that happens right?
Well if you go to the movies while wearing your smartwatch and you happen to get a notification, you could be that annoying guy or girl. If you don’t want to be that annoying person in the theater, just activate Theater Mode on your smartwatch to turn the screen off.
In order to do so, swipe down, and tap the brightness icon. You’ll then see some brightness options, as well as a watch with a diagonal line across it. Simply tap that and Theater Mode will be activated. This way your smartwatch won’t light up even if you move or get notifications.
To turn Theater Mode off, simply press the power button.
There you have it, 10 Wear OS smartwatch hacks, tips and tricks that will help you get the most desirable smartwatch experience. Smartwatches can be very useful, but sometimes they may be confusing and intimidating, especially for someone who isn’t “tech savvy”.
Some of these features might take some getting used to, but if you just take the time to learn and figure everything out, I’m pretty sure you’ll see how useful these features are, and that they will improve your experience.