Android Wear update for always-on apps and navigation tweaks

As much as Apple would like you to think otherwise, Apple Watch is yet to blow other wearables out of the water. Smartwatches are still something of an emerging technology, but Google has managed to carve out yet another niche for itself with Android Wear. Today the company unleashes an update that aims to make Android-powered watches easier to use.

The first major addition is support for always-on apps. Most Android Wear watches included support for displaying the time round the clock (sorry!) but this feature has now been expanded to other apps. If you're using your watch to get directions or follow a shopping list, you can opt to keep the relevant app active at all times. The update has more to offer too.

Battery-saving is taken care of by only using full-color display when your watch is in a position you might look at it in. The latest update introduces a number of navigation tweaks that Google hopes will make life a little easier. Hands-free navigation makes it possible to scroll through notifications and other data with a deft flick of the wrist.

For those times when you're unable to speak to dictate a response to a message, there's now the option of drawing emojis on the screen. Google has also brought your apps closer to you - a quick tap of your watch face is all it takes to access what you need. Another change to Android Wear is support for watches with integrated Wi-Fi meaning that - as long as your phone has a data connection, even if you don’t have it with you - you'll be able to receive all of your notifications whenever you have a wireless connection.

The update is rolling out now over the course of the next few weeks, and first in line to receive it is the LG Watch Urbane.