This is the poorest, most evil app to ever come out of Google


You've heard of smartwatches, right? They're those watch-like gadgets that strap to your wrist and usually cost anywhere between $250 and $350. There are three main platforms for them, too, including Apple's new wearable OS, Pebble's own OS, and of course — Google's Android Wear, which is still the most popular. As it turns out, one of them can be a total nightmare to deal with, at least in one particular regard: Pairing your new smartwatch!

It's Google's. Android Wear is one piece of satanic work, well-suited to torture unsuspecting geeks who just want to get their smartwatch to finally, praised be the Titans, pair with their smartphone. Things aren't quite so simple with Android Wear, however. In fact, we have absolutely no qualms about calling the Android Wear platform and its homonymous app sidekick the poorest, most annoying piece of software to ever come out of Google's labs. This is all the more troubling, seeing as how smartwatches aren't doing very well anyway, and need all the help they can get. And if the train of thought below is hard to follow, it's only because we ourselves have absolutely no clue what on earth possesses Android Wear to act the way it does.

So what's wrong with with it? As touched on, pairing can be an absolute, utter nightmare because the platform obviously was only intended for one single wearable, even though it can supposedly support many. If you're about to buy an Android Wear smartwatch, don't fret — first timers are usually fine. But if you're thinking of pairing up a new smartwatch whilst keeping your smartphone, or unpairing your smartwatch to temporarily connect to another smartphone, or even if you have two wearables and like switching between them, be prepared for one hellish ride.

First and foremost, Android Wear on the watch itself doesn't like letting go. That is, even after you unpair it from your smartphone through the settings menu, and even after getting a success message, the unpair option will (most of the time) remain behind like a ghost, always making you wonder if the process actually worked. In most cases, it hasn't, or some other inexplicable problem has occurred, the result of which is that you simply cannot pair a new smartwatch through the Android Wear app — the smartphone and smartwatch both are completely blind to each other when scanning for Bluetooth devices. You can't even pair your smartwatch with another phone. And no, re-installing the Android Wear app on your device doesn't help. In fact, once it has made a connection, Android Wear will refuse to work with any other wearable, and your smartwatch will refuse to pair up with any other smartphone (yes, we've tested this extensively). What is it that Google suggests? Factory reset your smartwatch.

So you do just that and spend the next 5 to 10 minutes waiting for this to be over. Of course, what the Google help page doesn't tell you is that there's what seems to be a 50/50 chance that you'll have to reset the device another time. Why? Because even after the two devices (your smartphone and smartwatch) finally detect each other over Bluetooth, there's a good chance that you'll get stuck in a 'sync' loop, or the pairing confirmation dialog won't appear, or they'll be infinitely stuck on 'connecting'. 

Since sync loops are the most deceptive, they're worth further clarification. They occur when the smartphone tries to transfer all relevant data to the smartwatch during initial contact, but the phone, for some reason, runs into trouble. Last week, we waited about 45 minutes before giving up and going for another reset (then it worked). Just today, whilst prepping the Watch Urbane for our video review (it connects to a Galaxy S6, which had previously paired with the Urbane, but tried to switch (unsuccessfully) to our resident Watch R), we ran through the same scenario. After resetting it, we managed to pair it with the S6 and "only" had to wait 20 minutes for the syncing process to finish. What can possibly require so much time? Certainly not the 10 to 15 third-party watchfaces or the handful of apps we've installed. Even through Bluetooth, this is way too long.

These aren't the only issues with Android Wear. The latest version has caused a storm of criticism on the Play Store and elsewhere, with people citing crashes and general slowdowns (the type we experienced ourselves with the LG Watch Urbane), not to mention incredible battery drains on many Moto 360 units. Many also continue having trouble pairing their smartwatch with their smartphone.

We get it, smartwatches are a new category, but after two years, the latest Android Wear version shouldn't be marred by such glaring issues. It's not alright when a new update or the thought of pairing up our resident smartwatches with a new device fills us with dread — we don't need it to be 100% plug-and-play, but Google should absolutely look into this if it's at all serious about the category.

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39 Comments

1. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Let the trolling begin.

4. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Its not just Google but all smartwatches suck. And the battery times are impractical!

6. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Agreed, they're just not there yet.

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Looking at the giant mess that is Lollipop, I am not surprised.

28. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

I don't usually agree with you, but now I will. I wont mindlessly defend lollipop, because it is really a mess, it made me go custom ROM asap LOL. I hope the OEMs would get 5.1 right though.

7. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Android wear... Still better than iTunes... LOLz

8. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

If its E-ink or anything monochromatic then the battery life might just have a chance of getting better battery life but now those power hungry processors and bright LED displays just wont cut it.

15. gaming64 unregistered

iTunes.. Still better than Google Play.

21. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Chris P. Clearly doesn't like or use Android Wear on a regular basis. Android Wear has been out less then a year. You couldn't even buy an Android Wear device until the end of June 2014.

26. Mxyzptlk unregistered

At least iTunes actually works unlike Android Wear that still feels like it's in beta.

32. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

iTunes doesn't work sh*t and this is coming from a mac user. Its slow and clunky and also has an overall bad design same as the preview app on os x

36. zibbyzib2000

Posts: 221; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

iTunes is the music service, not the actual watch. Idk why you're comparing Android Wear to it, but whatever floats your boat.

11. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Said the troll. It baffles me how these flameboys start whining & calling people trolls every time you mention a problem that needs to be fixed

12. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

And you are the one who keeps accusing people 24/7, btw if you dont know there are trolls like bobby buster aka android hater and patriot gang aka iphone ceo

29. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Your confused. I've never called anyone a troll unless they start calling users out as trolls for having the sense to be critical instead of just excepting whatever a oem does without question

13. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

I need a clear explanation on how am I a troll.

2. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I'm a massive android fan but no excuse after this length if time. I'll stick with my gear s

3. MartinR

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

I'm just here to read the comments in 3, 2, 1.... GO!

5. carlemillward unregistered

Well it is the first version, Android only became appealing once Gingerbread was released, Froyo if you pushing it. Unfortunately, it is not for customization which Huawei wanted Google to allow.

9. jesus_sheep

Posts: 279; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

I stopped wearing wristwatches a long time ago. I thought techonology was supposed to be moving forwards.

18. gaming64 unregistered

It isn't technology, it's just people are getting stupid to buy smartwatches for no effing reason besides being a coolie.

20. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Also to get laid lol

30. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Idk about that last comment. You where on here complaining about dik pics the other day lol

35. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Well you dont need to take dic* pics to get laid. If you do then something is wrong with you.

10. DechyX

Posts: 156; Member since: May 16, 2011

fitbit

17. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

no, thanks.

14. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Whew... I just got my G Watch and I thought it was just my OnePlus One not playing well with the G Watch. It's very nice to hear that the app is just buggy as hell. I'm having all sorts of connection issues, and syncing problems. I guess I'll just be patient.

16. gaming64 unregistered

This proves that Chris P. hates Android Wear.

37. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

In a black & white world, yes.

38. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Then why even give reviews on it. Get someone with more of an unbiased view. So out of curiosity which smart watch do you use on a regular basis? Please enlighten everyone here Chris P.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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