Google has updated its Android Wear OS for smartwatches with cellular support, so wearables on the platform will be able to stay connected with a SIM card, even when the phones they pair with aren’t nearby.
The first smartwatch to ship with a SIM slot along with support for cellular connectivity is the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, which was announced last month and will be available in the US and South Korea this month.
The new feature will allow your smartwatch to automatically switch to a cellular connection when you’re out of range of your phone’s Bluetooth or trusted Wi-Fi network. If both devices are online, you’ll be able to receive notifications and run apps as usual, no matter how far apart your phone and watch are.
That’ll come in handy when you want to go out for a run and leave your phone at home, without missing alerts. Plus, you’ll be able to make and receive calls on your watch, if you’re into having conversations with your wrist.
While this puts Android Wear ahead of Apple’s WatchOS in terms of functionality for the time being, it may not be the killer feature every potential smartwatch buyer is looking for. Cellular connectivity means an additional strain on your watch’s tiny battery, so you might find yourself charging your timepiece more than usual because of it.
➤ Cellular support comes to Android Wear [Android Official Blog]