Android Wear finally supports watches with cellular connections

LG's new Watch Urbane doesn't need a smartphone. Photo: LG

LG’s new Watch Urbane doesn’t need a smartphone. Photo: LG

Google is finally making Android Wear compatible with smartwatches that have¬†cellular connectivity, paving the way for a new breed of wearables that don’t require a smartphone for operation. The first device that fits that description is LG’s new Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE.

With LTE connectivity, you’ll be able to use your Wear watch in the same way you do now — to check notifications, send and receive messages, track your activities, get answers from Google Now, and use your favorite apps — only you won’t need to be tethered to a smartphone over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

You can leave your handset at home, then, and as long as it has cellular connectivity, it will continue to send and receive data to and from your watch. You will even be able to make calls on your Wear watch when you’re stuck without your smartphone.

Of course, you’ll need a Wear watch with cellular connectivity to do this. Right now there is only one of those — and it’s the new Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, an updated version of LG’s original Watch Urbane, which is now¬†available from AT&T and Verizon.

Google says the device will also be available in international markets “within the coming months,” and we can expect to see more Wear watches with LTE in the future.