Android Wear Problems (and Solutions!)

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on December 15, 2015, Android

Android Wear is still fairly new tech, so there are bound to be some teething problems. However, if you’ve got your hands on a cool new Android watch and it’s not working the way you think it should, then we’re here to help you out. We’re taking a look at some of the most common Android Wear problems and how to fix them. So before you get too frustrated, read on!

Compatibility First

With any kind of Android Wear problem your first step should be checking out compatibility. Android Wear isn’t great about automatically downloading what it needs, nor is it particularly tolerant of different app versions. That means that you might need to go ahead and check that you’re meeting the requirements listed below. If you’re not sure which app version you have, just head to your app store and try to reinstall the app you’re concerned about, if it’s up to date then your app store will tell you.

So what do you need? You’ll need the Android Wear App, with the minimum requirement being version 1.1.0. You’ll also need the Google Search app, minimum version 4.0, as well as the Google Play Services app, minimum version 7.3.28. If you’re using an iPhone with that Android Wear you’ll need at least an iPhone 5, running iOS 8.2 minimum, and the Android Wear App for iOS version 1.0 or better.

Pairing Your Android Wear

You’ll need to pair your watch with your phone, which is pretty easy to do. Turn on Bluetooth on your phone, then wait for a list of nearby devices to appear (make sure your watch is switched on!). Tap the name of your watch on the list, check that the code that appears on your phone screen matches the one that appears on your watch face, then hit “pair” on your phone. The process might take a few minutes, so be patient…

My Watch Won’t Pair!

So you can’t complete the step above? There are generally two problems if you can’t pair your watch. The first is that you don’t have Bluetooth switched on on your phone, which is an easy fix. The second is that you have Bluetooth switched on, but you’re connected to too many other Bluetooth devices. If this is the case then try unpairing some of your other Bluetooth devices then trying to pair your watch again.

Nope, Still Won’t Pair (or Drops the Connection)

If you still can’t pair, or you can but your watch frequently drops the connection, there are a few other things you can try. Try connecting and then reconnecting using the Android Wear app on your phone. If this doesn’t work, then go to the Settings menu on your phone, tap apps, and tap the Android Wear app on the list that appears, then select “clear cache” and try again.

Finally, you can try factory resetting your watch (which really isn’t a big deal, since your watch itself contains little data that can be lost, your phone will automatically reload all your watch’s apps later). This is simple, wake up your watch face, swipe until you get your menu page, tap settings, then hit factory reset. It’ll take a few minutes, and you’ll need to start the watch/phone pairing process again once your watch turns back on.

It’s pretty common that your Android Wear drops the connection a couple of times during initial set up, so don’t worry about it. Just keep reconnecting until all your apps etc. have been loaded in, and you should be fine.

Um, I’m Not Getting Notifications on My Watch

Not getting notifications is a pain, since you probably got Android Wear in the first place so you could get notifications on your wrist. If you’ve never received notifications then you probably just have the settings wrong on your phone. Go to the settings menu, choose notifications, and tick the box next to Android Wear (you may also be able to do this by unpairing your watch and then pairing it again, at which point the Android Wear app may prompt you to enable notifications).

If you have received notifications and these have stopped, the issue is different. Double check Bluetooth to make sure you didn’t accidentally switch it off first, then double check the settings on your watch to make sure you didn’t accidentally mute it. Other than these fixes, this seems to be a common bug, normally fixed by switching your watch off and then back on again.

My Watch Destroys My Phone’s Battery!

This is the most common usage problem we see for Android Wear, and there can be a bunch of reasons. First, check out the settings menu on your phone, choose battery and see which specific apps are draining your power (you might find that it’s not your watch at all). If you’re sure it’s your watch then try switching the watch off and on and see if the problem solves itself. Still not working properly? Try a factory reset as described above.

If these things don’t work, you might be out of luck. Google have admitted that there is a flaw in Android Wear 5.1.1 that might suck the battery life out of your phone, so you’ll probably just have to wait for a software update to solve the problem. However, some people have found that disabling Google Now helps solve the battery problem, and others only have a battery problem when using certain WiFi networks. You could always disable Google Now or switch off WiFi if this is your case.

When it’s working properly, Android Wear is very cool indeed. But users have been experiencing a few hiccups here and there. For the most part, these problems are simply new user problems, and are likely to get patches and updates that will solve them in the near future. So be patient, and remember, there’s a small price to pay for being on the cutting edge of technology!

Photo credit: pestoverde