Since its launch last year, Google has been steadily rolling out updates for its wearable platform, Android Wear. The public’s attention might have shifted a little to the competition (did someone say Apple Watch?), but Google has recently announced a bunch of upgrades that will kick the platform up a notch or two.

If you’re an Android Wear watch user, here are some of the things to look forward to.

Leave your Smartphone Behind
Perhaps the biggest and most important update is your Android Wear’s ability to function despite its distance from your phone. All you need to do is connect your watch to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and make sure your phone stays online. Whether you’re just a couple of blocks away or you’re halfway around the globe, your Android Wear watch can communicate with your phone.

Improved Battery Life
It’s still a work in progress, but small strides have been made for improved battery life. However small it is still welcome as this ties in well with another important update: your Android Wear smartwatch will now remain on for as long as you want it to. Just lower your wrist to conserve battery life; the watch will automatically dim its light.

Google Keep: Now a Full-Functioning App
Android Wear’s functionality is one of the things that sets it apart from the Apple Watch, and Google has finally made Google Keep a full-fledged app. So go ahead, take notes, add reminders, and make lists to your heart’s content.

Smoother Transition and Communications
Android Wear’s newest update will allow for faster communications. Tap the watch face to access your apps, or flick your wrist to stream through it. You can also have fun with emojis; just draw symbols on the watch face as the new update comes with emoji support.

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