All Android Wear watches have Wi-Fi chips, but some won’t get Wi-Fi support

Wi-Fi logoAndroid Wear is getting a big update that enables a top-level app list, always-on apps, a hands-free scrolling gesture, and it's also enabling Wi-Fi support. Wi-Fi is coming not just in the software; a lot of existing devices will have their Wi-Fi functionality enabled—but not all of them.

Every Android Wear smartwatch has a Wi-Fi chip, because they use smartphone SoCs. These all-in-one processors put the CPU, GPU, RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a bunch of other things on a single chip. Smartwatches that use these SoCs get all these features whether they need them or not, and things they don't need are disabled.

All Android Wear watches have Wi-Fi chips, but some won’t get Wi-Fi support

Phandroid got in contact with most of the Android Wear OEMs to see which watches get Wi-Fi. The Moto 360, Sony SmartWatch 3, and LG's new Watch Urbane are in, while the Asus ZenWatch and early adopters of LG products—the LG G Watch and LG G Watch R—are being left out. Samsung, which made the Gear Live, hasn't responded.

The reason the G Watch and G Watch R aren't getting updated isn't because of the Wi-Fi chip, it's because they lack Wi-Fi antennas. LG just didn't pack them into the G Watch and G Watch R. Interestingly, while the Gear Live shipped at the same time as the G Watch, it does have an antenna, so while Samsung hasn't responded, there seems to be no reason the Gear Live will be left out of the fun. We've never seen a ZenWatch teardown, so we're not sure if that has an antenna or not.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android Wear, Google, smartwatch, Wi-Fi

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