Android Wear 5.1.1 introduces app launcher, and Wi-Fi access without smartphone

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Android Wear 5.1.1 is coming to all Android Wear devices, and it gives owners a range of new features to be enjoyed.

According to a blog by Silicon Angle, one of these features include making any open apps stay on-screen all the time even when the user is not looking. This is an improvement over the current feature that automatically reverts the Android Wear device to Watch mode when the user drops his arm after looking at an app.

Users concerned over battery life will be glad to find out that Android Wear will simply revert to monochrome mode if users do not actively look at the watch, Silicon Angle added.

The update will also give users a new launcher for accessing apps and contacts, the Tech Times reported. Android Wear users simply have to swipe left in order to launch apps.

In addition, Silicon Angle said, users will no longer have to rely on their smartphone in order to access Wi-Fi using their Android Wear devices when the update rolls out to them. When the Android Wear is connected to a Wi-Fi network, it will receive notifications, read and send messages and use apps provided that the smartphone is connected to a data network as well.

Android Wear 5.1.1 began rolling out last month. The first devices to receive the update were LG’s G Watch and G Watch R.

Moto 360 users are currently awaiting an update to 5.1.1. According to Techno Buffalo, Motorola has recently revealed that performance issues are keeping them from releasing the update to Moto 360 owners.

A post in Twitter by Motorola Mobility revealed that “[p]erformance is not quite there yet” for the Moto 360 5.1.1 update. In addition Motorola Mobility said that the company is cooperating closely with Google to ensure optimal performance for the wearable device when the update finally rolls out.

Motorola has not revealed a specific release date for the Moto 360’s update to 5.1.1.