Have a new Wear OS smartwatch? Here’s how to set it up your Android phone

The best Android smartwatches pair attractive designs with the ability to mirror calls and notifications as well as a host of fitness-focused features right on your wrist. Wear OS continues to dominate the Android smartwatch segment, and if you picked up a new smartwatch that’s powered by Google’s wearable platform, here’s how you can set it up with your phone.

How to download the Wear OS app from the Play Store

  1. Open Play Store from the app drawer or home screen.
  2. Type Wear OS in the search bar at the top.
  3. Tap Install on the first result (it should be Wear OS by Google Smartwatch).

How to set up a Wear OS smartwatch with your Android phone

After downloading the Wear OS app on your phone, you can begin setting it up. First, you’ll have to switch on Bluetooth, so your phone can locate the smartwatch. Then you’ll have to turn on the smartwatch itself and pick your preferred language. After that, you’ll see a prompt to download the Wear OS app on your phone. Just leave the watch on that screen, and proceed along on your phone.

  1. Open the Wear OS app from the app drawer or home screen.
  2. Tap Start Setup.
  3. Hit Agree to the terms of service and Google’s privacy policy.

  4. If you want to send anonymized usage stats to Google, select I agree. If not, hit No thanks.
  5. Place the phone next to your watch, and it should show up on the list. Select the watch to begin pairing.
  6. Verify that the pairing code is correct (it will show up on the watch), and hit Pair to link the watch with your phone.

  7. Choose the Google account you want to use on the smartwatch. This should be your primary Play Store account.
  8. Confirm your screen lock to copy your Google account to the Wear OS device.
  9. Choose Copy to link your Google account to the watch. You’ll get to sign in with your password on this screen.

  10. Once the Google account is set up, you’ll be able to connect the smartwatch to your Wi-Fi network. Hit Connect to get started.
  11. Hit Next to set up your Wear OS smartwatch to receive calls and send texts from your wrist.
  12. For calls and texts to work, Wear OS needs access to your contacts. Hit Allow to continue with the installation.

  13. The same goes for calls. Select Allow to get calls mirrored to your wrist.
  14. Wear OS needs access to call logs to show missed call alerts. Hit Allow to continue.
  15. Finally, Wear OS needs to access to Send and view SMS messages to mirror texts. Select Allow.

  16. In this section, you’ll be giving access to your calendar so your smartwatch can surface upcoming events. Hit Next to get started.
  17. Select Allow to give Wear OS access to your calendar.
  18. You can now set up notification mirroring so incoming notifications to your phone will show up on your wrist. Tap Allow.

  19. In the dialog box, hit Allow to mirror notifications.
  20. Finally, hit Next at the Location notice screen to give the smartwatch access to your location.
  21. That’s it! You’ll see a Finishing up progress bar, after which you’ll be able to start using your watch.

Once you finish setting up your Wear OS smartwatch, you’ll be able to customize the settings. You can install new watch faces, choose what notifications show up on your wrist, select calendars to surface events from, and much more.

After you finish fine-tuning the settings on your phone, you’ll be able to tour the Wear OS user interface on your smartwatch. Google made a lot of changes with Wear OS 2.2, and the UI is more modern and easier to navigate. That said, there are still a few lingering issues that Google needs to address, but for the most part, Wear OS is a decent wearable platform.

Stand out

Skagen Falster 3

$295 at Amazon
$295 at Skagen

The best of Wear OS

Skagen’s Falster 3 delivers everything you’re looking for in a Wear OS smartwatch. It has a gorgeous design and is available in plenty of colors, you can switch out bands with ease, and it has reliable hardware as well as fast charging.

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