Getting to Know Your Android Wear Smartwatch

I bought an Asus Zenwear 2 Android Wear Smartwatch because:

  • My phone lives in my pocket, not on my desk.
  • It frequently signals for my attention, as text messages, calendar alerts, etc. arrive.
  • Every time I pull it out of my pocket is a risk that I'll drop it or accidentally fling it across the room.

Basically, I just wanted to move my phone alerts from my pocket to my wrist.

Here are some suggestions on how to get to know your smartwatch.

  • When it is new, pair it up with your phone and don't install any new software except for the latest OS.
    • Install Android Wear from the Google Store onto your phone. Launch it. Follow its prompts until it says "Connect your watch".
    • Turn on your watch. (Or factory reset it, if necessary.)
      • It boots slowly. Be patient.
      • If you factory reset your watch, you'll want to go into Android Wear on your phone and ALSO tell it to forget your watch.
      • After your watch starts showing multi-lingual welcomes, swipe from right to left. Select your language by tapping.
      • It will tell you to attach it to a power source. You can swipe from the right to skip.
      • Swipe from the right as needed, to step through its instructions.
      • Tap the watch when its name appears on your phone.
      • The watch and the phone will switch to showing a numeric code. Accept this code on your phone.
      • Step through the prompts on your phone. Say OK to everything.
      • Eventually your phone will return to the Android Wear home screen and it should say that your watch is connected.
      • Your watch may say "updating" and or "syncing" for a while. Just wait for it to finish.
  • Live with it as a plain watch for several days.
    • It is easy to get overwhelmed by the thing. What are all the gestures? How do I make sense of it?
    • If you need to dismiss a notification, swipe from the left.
    • If you need to scroll down on a notification, swipe from the bottom.
    • If you get a notification (such as Calendar) which says "+3 more" or something similar, tap the "+3" to expand the list.
    • There's a rumor that battery life will be terrible on the first 2 days, but it will get better. That matches my experience, but I did other stuff too, so I can't tell for certain. The first day I had it, it was dead after 14 hours. By day 5, it was still at 75% at 11 hours. (Again, I fiddled with it, so I can't say for certain why.)
    • After you've lived with it as a watch for several days, continue below. "Day 1" is the first day AFTER you lived with it as a plain watch for a while.

  • Day 1: Shut up and leave me alone - a.k.a. Theater Mode
    • Sooner or later, you'll be in a situation where you need your watch to be quiet and stay dark, such as when you go to see a movie.
    • From the watch display, swipe down to see "Do not disturb". This would silence your phone, but we're going to make it stop lighting up too, so...
    • Swipe twice from the right to see "Theater mode".
    • Tap "Theater mode" to darken and silence your watch.
    • Note: This does NOT silence your phone.
    • To awaken your watch, press the stem (the button you would use to wind a mechanical watch).
      • If your watch does not have a stem, multiple taps on the screen should awaken it.
  • Day 2: No, really shut up and leave me alone. a.k.a. "Oops. Sorry. I thought I shut that off."
    • You learned how to put your watch to sleep yesterday but, oops, your phone still made noise in the middle of Uncle Bob's funeral. Theater mode affects the watch, not the phone.
    • You can put your phone into semi-silent mode by:
      • On the watch screen, swipe from the top. You'll see "Do not disturb".
      • You can tap "Do not disturb" to put your phone into "Alarms only" mode, but that puts your phone into "alarms only" mode.
    • If you really don't want your Calendar alert for your daily "Post to Twitter at 3:45" going off in the middle of Uncle Bob's funeral, you'll have to do that from your phone.
    • To silence your watch and your phone:
      • Put your PHONE into "Do not disturb" and "Total silence" mode.
    • To silence everything and darken your watch:
      • Put your PHONE into "Do not disturb" and "Total silence" mode.
      • AND put your watch into Theater mode.
    • Little dot near 12:
      • Sometimes there is a little dot near 12 on the display. That is showing you that your phone is in "Do not disturb" mode. It is the same icon you see on the DND screen, except much smaller.
  • Day 3: Learn to check your battery level.
    • Check this on the phone, not the watch.
    • Open Android Wear (on your phone).
    • Tap the gear icon (settings)
    • Tap the name of your watch on the Settings page
    • Tap "Watch battery"
  • Day 4: Change your watch face.
    • On the watch screen, swipe from the right
    • Tap Settings
    • Scroll down to Change Watch Face
      • Reminder: Scroll down = swipe from the bottom
    • Scroll left/right to find a face you like
    • Tap the face to select it
  • Day 5: Unlock your phone when it is near your watch. (Assumes you use a PIN on your phone.)
    • On the Phone...
      • Settings >> Security >> Trust Agents >> enable Smart Lock
      • Settings >> Security >> Smart Lock >> Trusted Devices >> Add Trusted Device >> Bluetooth >> add your watch
    • There's a risk here. Generally, it seems convenient to have your phone unlocked when you're wearing your watch. But when you take off your watch and your phone to charge them, don't let them out of your sight.
  • Day 6: A "two-fer". Install two calculators:
    • Calculator for Android Wear
    • Wear Tip Calculator
    • You install these on your phone. They get auto-added to your watch.
    • To access the watch's menu of apps, swipe from the left. Then scroll down.
  • Day 7: Install Google Fit.
    • Before installing, I'm at about 70% of battery remaining at 8 PM.
    • This is a fitness app. I don't know much about it yet. I'm installing it because my phone recommended it.
    • For the most part, it provides Fitbit-like capability.