Steve Fenton

Supercharge your Android Wear battery life

Android Wear Battery Life

If you don’t get your settings right, this graphs can be a long way from reality for your Android Wear device. This screen shot was taken after I made the changes described in this article, before I adjusted my settings I would sometimes get just half a day of battery life rather than the two-days or more I now get. I’m wearing a Sony SmartWatch 3, but these tricks will work with any Android Wear watch or wearable.

So here is my quick guide to supercharging the battery life of your Android Wear device.

Step One! Switch off Tilt to Wake Screen

It feels cool to lift the watch up and see it switch on automatically. But then it starts switching on every time your point at an object in the distance, or shake hands with someone, or scratch yourself.

Head over to Settings -> “Your Device Name” -> Tilt to Wake Screen and switch it off.

You’ll save all of the battery you were wasting lighting up things accidentally while moving your arm… which I imagine you do a fair bit.

Step Two! Switch off WiFi

The WiFi feature (if you have it) is really useful if your forget your phone, as it allows to carry on using the device without it being paired. When you are connected to your phone using low-energy Bluetooth, though, it is a waste of battery – so switch it off by default.

The screen shots below show how to do this on the device by visiting Settings -> Wi-Fi settings and hitting the “Wi-Fi Active” button, so it turns into a “Wi-Fi OFF” button.

Android Wear Settings for WiFiAndroid Wear WiFi Off

Step Three! Block Unimportant Notifications

I’m interested in text messages, phone calls, PagerDuty alerts, and hangouts. These are the only three notifications that I need to make a judgement on. Nothing else is ever important, these are sometimes important enough for me to interrupt what I am doing. For example, I don’t want to be disturbed by email, fitness nagging, LinkedIn… or some other app that can simply wait until later.

So choose which apps are important, and then block the rest. You’ll still get notifications on your phone, but not on your wrist.

Block apps in the Android Wear app on your phone – head to Settings -> Block app notifications and start adding! You’ll save communication between phone and wearable, display time, screen updates, and vibrations for everything you block.

Android Wear Blocked Apps

With these three simple changes, your battery will suddenly appear to be four to six times bigger than it was in the first place – and you haven’t disabled any features that you’ll miss to get that extra battery life. You can use the battery monitor in the companion app on your phone to keep an eye on things and influence your economic decision to switch things on or off. You’re welcome.

Written by Steve Fenton on