Android brings Wi-Fi to smartwatches in software update

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Android has brought Wi-Fi connectivity to its smartwatches just days before Apple begins selling its own wearable.

The latest software update to Android Wear has introduced an "always on" screen, replacing the one that activated once a wrist was lifted. David Singleton, Director of Engineer at Android Wear, said the screen will only turn full colour when being looked at, which will save on battery life.

As well as the Wi-Fi functionality on compatible smartwatches, users can scroll the screen by flicking their wrist and can access apps and contacts one touch away from the watch's face.

Android said the updates will be rolled out to the seven Android Wear watches in the coming weeks.

Apple's smartwatch goes on sale from 24 April, with new research from GfK claiming one in 10 people intend to buy a smartwatch during the next six months.

The report also found 57 percent of consumers are waiting until the Apple device launches before deciding on which brand to buy.

Anne Giulianotti, Joint Head of Technology at GfK said: “Apple is a much loved and admired brand – so it’s no wonder that many potential smartwatch buyers are delaying their decision on what to buy until the launch of its device on 24th April.

"In Q1 2015, smartwatches made up seven percent of the wearable tech category. With the launch of Apple’s watch in a few days, we expect that figure to rise as people see what one of the world’s favourite tech brands has to offer.”

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