11 tips and tricks to get the most out of your new Wear OS smartwatch

  • Google’s Wear OS smartwatch software packs a lot of features into a tiny package.
  • From messaging to productivity to advanced fitness tracking, Wear OS watches have something for everyone.
  • Here are 11 tips and tricks for getting started.

So, you got a new Wear OS smartwatch over the holidays.

That’s good news for you, because Google’s smartwatch software packs a surprising amount of tools into a tiny package.

From messaging to productivity to advanced fitness tracking, Wear OS watches have something for everyone.

But not every feature is obvious from the get-go. Google has packed the software – which used to be called Android Wear, and is available on smartwatches from Fossil, Tag Heuer, LG, Michael Kors, and more – with neat tricks and helpful tools to make using the watch a lot easier.

And now that the latest version of Google’s smartwatch operating systemhas arrived, there are even more cool tricks to try out.

So whether you’re new to Wear OS or a longtime user, here are 11 tips and tricks for getting the most out of your watch.

1. You can see all your notifications in one place by swiping up.

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2. If you received an important message, you can respond right away using smart replies.

Just tap on the message to select a built-in smart reply without leaving your notifications stream.

Note: smart replies only work if you have an Android smartphone.

3. Swipe down to access Google Pay, Google’s contactless payment system.

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4. You can find your misplaced phone by swiping down for the “Find my phone” shortcut.

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5. Swiping right will show you “proactive help” from Google Assistant.

Google Assistant will show you helpful features like your flight status or hotel reservation when you’re travelling. You can tap on smart suggestions, like the weather at your destination or find a restaurant near your hotel.

The Assistant will also show you your day’s meetings, or warn you if there is a delay on your commute.

Over time, the Assistant will suggest features you haven’t tried yet and will become more helpful as it gets to know your habits better.

6. If you’re cooking and need to set a timer but don’t want to touch your watch, you can say “OK Google, set a timer.”

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7. You can also find out the day’s weather without opening an app. Just say, “Hey Google, do I need an umbrella today?”

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8. Want to change your watch face? Press and hold the home screen to choose from a variety of new faces.

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Your watch comes with a handful of existing choice, but you can also download other watch faces from the Play store on your phone and watch.

9. Double tap on a complication on your watch face to customise the information you see.

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10. Google tracks fitness in two unique ways: heart points and move minutes. Swipe left to see whether you’re meeting those goals or to start a new workout.

Google worked with the American Heart Association and the World Health Organisation to come up with a new way to track fitness. Rather than being measured primarily by steps, the watch will track you based on two new metrics: move minutes and heart points.

The new goals distill fitness down to two factors that are easily measured: how much you’re moving during the day (as opposed to just sitting still), and how often and for how long you elevate your heart rate.

The watch shows you your goals in a simple, easy-to-read graphic that can be accessed in one swipe.

11. Need to unwind and relax? There’s an app for that.

Open the Google Fit app to start a new guided breathing exercise.

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