The Most Important Things You Can Do With Google's New Smartwatches

You’ll be able to buy smartwatches running Google’s new operating system for wearable computers, Android Wear, starting this month.

Here’s a quick look at the most important features in Android Wear. We used Samsung’s newest smartwatch, the Gear Live, for the demo.

Android Wear only works with certain Android phones. You have to pair it to your phone using the companion Android Wear app.

The Android Wear app syncs your phone to your watch using Bluetooth.

The app also lets you manage what kinds of notifications you get on your watch. You can 'mute' certain apps from delivering notifications.

By default, Android Wear shows you the time on a black and white screen. This is to save battery.

The colour switches on when you press the power button or lift your wrist.

You can tap and hold the watch face to change it. There are a bunch of options.

This classic watch face is pretty nice.

You control Android Wear using your voice. There are a bunch of things it can do.

For example, you can tell it to send an email or text message to someone in your contacts.

Just say who you want to send the email to.

Then dictate your message. It will send as soon as you're finished talking, so make sure you get it right.

There are health-tracking features, too. You can tell Android Wear to measure your heart rate.

It also tracks your steps.

And you get a nice chart of your fitness history.

Notifications appear on your home screen. You swipe up to view notifications from different apps.

Swiping right from a notification gives you more options. In this case, you can tap to view the full notification on your phone.

Here's what an incoming text message looks like.

You can reply to messages with your voice without having to take out your phone.

Here's what it looks like when you dictate a message. Google's voice recognition is very accurate.

Android Wear syncs with your phone's photo library.

You can share photos stored on your phone to Google+.

Android Wear connects to Google Now, Google's digital assistant. Using Google Now, Android Wear shows you information it thinks will be relevant to you. It's showing these stock tickers because we often search for them in Google.

Keep swiping up for more notifications. It shows you the weather in your current location.

Swipe over to see the extended forecast.

Android Wear will let you know about calendar events, too.

Google Now is pretty smart. You can ask it very specific questions like, 'Did the Mets win last night?' and get the right answer.

But some questions just pull up a normal Google search. You can't view websites on the watch. Instead, you have to tap the watch to open the page on your phone.

Android Wear can sync with Google Maps so you can get travel directions on your wrist. In this case, we asked: 'How do I get to the nearest Chipotle?'

And boom! Android Wear tells us how to get there with turn-by-turn directions.

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