Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Android Wear Smartwatch (8 STEPS)

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How to set up Android Wear Watches

Most Android Wear smartwatches offer easy-to-follow instructions for setting up the watch and getting them functioning with Android Wear.  In fact, they usually include  a brief short guide that provides the basics for getting up and running.

Nevertheless, one thing most instructions don't offer are actual photos.  So, for the visually inclined, we put together this tutorial on how to set up your Android Wear smartwatch.​

As an aside, in case you're new to smartwatches, Android Wear is a Google app, which means to a large extent, Google is powering many smartwatches on the market today.​

This is a universal Android Wear set up guide.  

While this tutorial uses photos of me setting up my Moto 360 smartwatch, the process is the same for all Android Wear smartwatches.  

I have several Android Wear powered watches and all of them follow the exact same steps for set-up, app installation, app removal and app management.  

Therefore, if you're having trouble setting up your Wear watch, this detailed tutorial, which includes photos, should help.

Some smartwatches come partially charged.  Others don't.

Before you stand a chance with set-up success, you need to ensure your watch has a charge.  I've found you don't need a full charge; a partial charge will work just fine.​  Some require more charge than others.  For example, the Moto 360 requires a 50% charge to finalize the set up. 

STEP 2: Turn ON Your Watch

Once you have a partial charge, turn on your watch.  Typically, you turn it on by pushing in the side button.

Once on, there will be prompts as to what you need to do... principally to agree to pair it to Android Wear once you download Android Wear (next step).

STEP 3: Turn on Phone Bluetooth

Ensure that your phone's Bluetooth is turned on.  You can turn it on in your phone's settings.

1. Click Bluetooth

2. Turn Bluetooth "ON" if not already on.  Once your watch is sufficiently charged, it will automatically show up ready for pairing.

STEP 4: Install Android Wear App

The next step is downloading the free app Android Wear from Google Play or iTunes store onto your mobile device.

STEP 5: Pair Watch with Android Wear

In Android Wear app on your phone, tap "Add a new watch"

Android Wear will automatically detect your new watch.

STEP 6: Install Watch Specific App

Most Android Wear smartwatches have a complementary app for their specific watch.  These apps are optional; however, I always download them and check them out.

These watch specific apps are NOT replacements for Android Wear app.  These watch-specific apps complement Android Wear offering access to watch-specific functionality such as watch faces and perhaps other features.  

Examples of watch specific apps are as follows:

  • Moto 360: Motorola Connect and Moto Body apps.

Here's the Moto Connect app process

Search for your watch specific app in Google Play or iTunes.

Open watch specific app once downloaded.  From here you can add more apps / watch faces.

What if your smartwatch doesn't have a complementary app?

That's okay.  Most of these complementary apps offer very limited additional features; watch faces principally, but in some cases they have some cool features such as The Mission app offering surf/ski condition reports for whichever surf/ski areas you like to follow.

IMPORTANT: Most complementary watch-specific apps are only available for Android mobile devices.​

STEP 7: How to Add Apps to Your Android Wear Smartwatch

​This is optional. By now your watch is up and running.  It will come pre-loaded with a fleet of main apps.  However, you may just want to add more apps to your watch.  Here's how you do that.

Adding apps to your Android Wear smartwatch is super easy.  

On your mobile device, open the Android Wear app.

Ensure you have the correct watch selected.  There's a drop down menu to access all of your Wear watches at top left.  Check it out:​

Scroll down the Andorid App to the various app sections.  There may be the following sections:

  • Watch faces: You can change the watch face via Android Wear app or directly on your watch (Settings => Change watch face)
  • Essential watch apps​: Click into here to access a huge variety of Android Wear apps.  Be sure you have some spare time on your hands because this is a major time-suck.  You'll get intrigued and excited with all the apps you can install on your watch; each app offering more and more functionality on your watch.

Below is the Moto 360 options inside Android Wear.

STEP 8: Install Wear App Manager & Tracker for Better App Management (Optional)

This is optional, but I find the Wear App Manager & Tracker app to be pretty useful, principally for 2 reasons:

  1. You can quickly see which Wear apps I have installed for each watch paired; and
  2. You can uninstall Wear apps from your phone/watch.

Yes, if you want to uninstall a Wear app from your watch, you must install and use the Wear App Manager app.  You cannot uninstall Android Wear apps from your watch.

How to uninstall an app on you Android Wear watch, do the following:

  1. Choose the correct watch from the drop-down menu (top left in screenshot above);
  2. Choose which app you'd like to uninstall;
  3. Click the vertical triple dot icon top right (see screenshot below);
  4. Tap "Uninstall".

Below are screenshots of how to uninstall apps installed in Android Wear:

Once in the app, tap the app you wish to uninstall.

Then click on the triple dot menu icon top right and then tap "Uninstall".  Voila, it's gone.