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article imageAndroid Wear now lets you do more from your wrist with LTE

By James Walker     Nov 15, 2015 in Technology
This week, Google added support for LTE data connections to Android Wear, opening the door to a new wave of smartwatches that function independently of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth links to smartphones. The first device to support the feature is built by LG.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Google explained how the feature will let smartwatch owners "stay connected in even more places." Android Wear will automatically switch to an LTE cellular network connection when you move away from Wi-Fi or your phone, keeping notifications flowing wherever you are.
Apps and fitness tracking will function as normal, alongside new support for more mobile features. It will be possible to make and receive calls and messages directly from your wrist, expanding the feature set of smartwatches so they almost replace a smartphone, instead of just complimenting one.
The first Android Wear device to include an LTE radio is the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE. It will be initially available on AT&T and Verizon's networks in the U.S. but a wider rollout is planned.
The circular watch has a 480x480-resolution P-OLED display, accompanied by three physical buttons to quickly access common functions. A built-in heart-rate monitor helps with fitness tracking and is joined by LG's own Health app for data analysis and workout management.
There are a few other new features in Android Wear 1.4 alongside LTE support. The available wrist gestures have been expanded to let you do more without having to touch the display or press a button. You can wiggle your wrist to return to the watch-face, for example, although the reliability of these new actions hasn't been determined yet and they could look decidedly dubious if they fail in public.
Google claims there are now thousands of apps and watch-faces available for Android Wear. The platform is building a growing developer community as it matures and more people consider a smartwatch, helped by the introduction of new features like LTE that make the devices more practical. The company says it "lets you wear what you want" and "say goodbye to bulky products," suggesting you can now leave your phone behind when going for a run or quick trip out the door.
More about Android, android wear, Google, smartwatch, lte
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