First major Android Wear update adds GPS and offline music playback

Google enables GPS on Android Wear, perfect for fitness fans
It knows WEAR you are

Google has confirmed on its Android Developers Blog that it's enabled GPS functionality on Android Wear, allowing smartwatches with built-in GPS to locate themselves without having to rely on a smartphone.

What does this mean for you? Well, your smartwatch will now be able to keep track of your location without needing your smartphone, allowing you to go for a run and leave your phone at home with the watch tracking your route.

Android Wear already comes with a pedometer, and several of the watches sport heart rate monitors, so with the inclusion of GPS as well it's clear Google is attempting to tackle the fitness market too.

Run forest, run

At the moment the only Android Wear device which sports GPS is the Sony SmartWatch 3, but this announcement will surely encourage the likes of LG, Samsung and Motorola to squeeze it into future products.

What's more, Google is also enabling offline music playback on Android Wear. You'll be able to store music on the watch and listen via bluetooth headphones.

Finally, there's good news for anyone struggling to find Android Wear apps in Google Play, as from November 3 developers will be able to submit apps specifically for the platform, suggesting an easy to find, dedicated area of the store will be created.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.