LG G Watch R to receive Wi-Fi connectivity in a future "maintenance update"

LG G Watch R to receive Wi-Fi connectivity in a future
With the heavily publicized addition of Wi-Fi connectivity in the Android Wear 5.1.1 update, LG G Watch R owners expected their timepieces to become best friends with the home router. Well, much to their surprise, this didn't happen, prompting speculation that one of the nicest Android Wear watches around lacks a built-in WiFi antenna. The original LG G Watch didn't have one either, as it wasn't designed with network connectivity in mind. 

Luckily, it turns out that the circular G Watch R was a more forward-looking device, as we get to learn — straight from LG's official statement — that the wearable has the necessary components in place, and ordering them to function is just a matter of a "maintenance update", which will be released in the third quarter. It's not made clear whether LG will push the new firmware themselves, or include it as part of a Google-issued Android Wear update.

The more curious among you might be left wondering why other AW smartwatches, such as the Moto 360, Sony SmartWatch 3, and Samsung Gear Live, automatically started beaming and receiving Wi-Fi signals after the Wear 5.1.1 update hit them, while the LG G Watch R needs some special tuning under the hood. Well, it turns out LG's watch wasn't designed with Wi-Fi in mind either, but the company apparently has a way to make it work on its own. Unfortunately, it won't be doing the same for the original LG G Watch, probably because the device is discontinued - Google and other retailers stopped selling it in late April.

LG's full official statement is available in the links below. While you're at it, check out our review of the LG G Watch Urbane, the company's latest foray into Android Wear, or take a plunge into the depths of wearable madness with Chris's righteous outpour of anger at the Android Wear app.

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21 Comments

1. Feanor

Posts: 1367; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Good news for my G Watch R (though this feature is of very limited use to me). But third quarter? That might mean September. They need such long for this?

4. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Coding, testing, fixing, approval. Third quarter starts in little over a month.

7. Feanor

Posts: 1367; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Well, anyway as I said, I find the WiFi enabling being the least useful of the 5.1.1 update features, despite the publicity it received. I mean, most of us have our phones in near proximity at all times, whether we have a smartwatch or not. The most useful feature for me is the always on apps (shopping list on the wrist is one of the most obvious snartwatch usages). And I love the new wrist gestures.

9. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

what's the point of having a smartwatch when your phone is always near you? having a wifi capable smartwatch allows you to go from one floor of the building to another without losing a connection, especially when you work in a large office building. phones are getting bigger these days and nobody wants to carry their phones around. at the same time, when people are expecting important calls/messages is when smartwatches become useful. when you go to the gym, do you wanna carry your membership card, your keys, your water bottle and your smartwatch, and 6inch smartphone when you are working out? having a wifi enabled watch allows you exercise without a 6inch smartphone as long as you have wifi in your gym. if pandora/spotify ever decides make native streaming apps for android wear, you can even stream music using wifi without a smartphone. and that's the whole point of smartwatches, GREATER MOBILITY. wifi opens many doors to standalone app development for android wear.

14. sgodsell

Posts: 7383; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You can already install music on Android Wear smart watches. Even play music that is installed on the watch. You just need a Bluetooth headset or speakers.

15. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

but no alot of people listens to mp3 files anymore these days? everything will be streamed in the age of cloud computing.

13. waddup121 unregistered

yesssssssssssssssssssssssss

2. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Smart watchs still limited usefulness.

5. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

I love my G Watch R, but not everyone has use or understands the use before they have one. Good thing we all are different.

6. Feanor

Posts: 1367; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I really cannot think of anything that one might be able to do one day with a smartwatch that they won't be able to do with a smartphone. In this regard I believe that smartwatches will probably remain a quick glance second screen and a remote for the smartphone. This is why I prefer the Google approach of Android Wear which more notification focused than the "app" focused Apple Watch. Which app exactly can run better on the Watch than on an iPhone, and how will this change in the future? If one hopes to completely replace the smartphone with a smartwatch, I think this already exists and it is the Samsung Gear S and LG Watch Urbane LTE, to the extend of course that the size of a wearable device permits.

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

i agree with you completely that Google has a better approach to smart watch implementation. However, apple marketing prowess could do more. Apple is the only gadget company that one could also be considered a lifestyle company that are able to touch the minds of general consumer. Besides, its the third parties apps that will drive the ecosystem. A few winning Apple watch apps will be enough to get apple fans to part with their money. Though i am a geek and prefer Android wear, I still think Apple watch will be the leading smart watch for days to come.

10. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

the fact that Android wear never thought to implemented wifi in the first place. shows GOOGLE lacks of vision in potentials of wearable technology. marketing is one thing, but apple watch clearly won the design and tech apple is alot better at implementation than google

12. Feanor

Posts: 1367; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Apple won the design??? I think Apple Watch is one of the ugliest smartwatches. LG G Watch R, Sony Smartwatch 3 Stainless Steel version, Asus Zenwatch and of course Motorola Moro 360 are all nicer. Of course this is a matter of personal taste, but what is so nice about a boring rounded rectangular device that looks like a mini iPhone 1 with a strap? And sorry, when I read about its craftsmanship... All smartwatches sport similar build quality and attention to detail bar none. And they usually have better materials for a fraction of Apple's price.

16. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

you need to play with an apple watch at the store then play with any android wear watch, then you'd see the difference and understand apple's appeal if you still think it's ugly, then i guess you'd the same type of people who like gucci, lv, prada, and tacky gigantic HUBLOT watches. there's no point in arguing there

17. Feanor

Posts: 1367; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Apple's only appeal is in its power of brainwashing. The Apple Watch fails in very basic fields; battery life, time telling, price/material ratio and yes, design. If Apple were the first to come with a round screen, everyone would freak out with "Apple's ability to Innovate". Now that the competitors have come first, "it's no big deal, the Watch is still better". Talking about double standards.

20. xi-elf

Posts: 1; Member since: May 25, 2015

smile

11. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

if you try to sell smartwatches as accessories to your phone, then you will fail. smartwatches should be a standalone personal mini computer that follows you wherever you go, whatever you do, tracks and analyzes all your activities. like a tablet that does same thing as a smartphone but it does it with greater mobility than the smartphone. in other words, phablets have become the new tablet, and smartwatches have become the new smartphone. basically, smart devices have scaled down instead of scaling up so far not even google understands it, apple at least has some idea

3. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I have loads of smart watches and i found them both useful and entertaining. An example, I am having my pebble watch with my Note 3 now. One glance at the pebble watch tell me, time, date, the steps i have taken today and its going to be a clear sky for the next 3 hrs. Do you get that much information from a glance at your traditional watches?

18. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Nope but my watch is waterproof up to 200 meter , Lifetime warranty and its charge itsef up so never need to charge or change a battery... Can your pebble do this? Different need different product. I dont need a Fancy watch thats be outdated after 1 year or 2 i want something thats do the job of a watch, is solid , good warranty and great battery life. But hey if you need thats its your choice. All you said beside the steps i can see at a glance on my phone.

19. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

This doesnt look like a Smartwatch... I love LG.. but this is such a flop.

21. hypergreatthing

Posts: 44; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

I got one. Out of all the smart watches i wanted one that could pass for a watch. Moto 360 was my primary choice, but when i saw they cut the lcd screen on the bottom and that i could never pass for a watch with that flaw, i chose the LG Watch R. Google Wear is the short comming of it, but it's getting better every day.

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