Posted by Chris Martin 01 August 2014
5 things Android Wear *can't* do: Smartwatch OS is great but not flawless
Android Wear is the new version of Google's mobile operating system specifically designed for devices like smartwatches and although we really like it, it's by no means perfect. Here are 5 things that Android Wear can't do. Read: The best smartwatches of 2014: List of the best wearable tech you can buy right now.
There are many things which Android Wear is great at such as providing notifications, setting reminders, voice controlled commands and dictation, answers to questions and more. However, after using the software for a while on devices like the LG G Watch, we've noted down some things which we wish the system could do.
5 things Android Wear can't do
Android Wear gives you information by way of cards in pretty much the exact same way as Google Now does on your phone or tablet. However, if you swipe one away to the right and clear it but you didn't mean to, there's no way of getting it back. The tutorial says not to worry because it will pop back up when it will be helpful but that doesn't include straight away.
Customise the layout
Another point on the card system is that Android Wear decides what order they are displayed in so your steps, the weather or something else could be at the top or right at the bottom. It makes sense that new ones, such as a text message appear at the top, but it would be great if the user could decide on some sort of priority level for each type of card.
Tell you how far you've walked
Speaking of steps, it's certainly a nice feature that Android Wear smartwatches can count how many you've done in a day. This means you don't need to wear a separate activity tracker, but if you want any more information you will have to. That's because Android Wear doesn't give you anything more than simply the number of steps you've done – no mileage, elevation or similar.
Work with every Android device
You might think, going by the name, that Android Wear devices will hook up to and work with any Android smartphone but that's not the case. In fact, you'll need to be running version 4.3 Jelly Bean or later which currently means around a quarter of devices won't work with an Android Wear smartwatch.
Set a screen time-out
Although Android Wear devices like the G Watch are advertised as having an 'always on' screen you can actually choose against this, and even when it is set this way it will still dim after a few seconds. Regardless of which you decide to go with, it's not possible to choose how quickly the screen dims or switches off like you can on an Android smartphone or tablet.