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Keep your Android Wear watch from lighting up a dark room

The idle screen on your watch may be convenient, but it can also be annoying.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani

Jason Cipriani/CNET

You may have noticed the screen on your Android Wear watch never truly turns off. Sure the brightness is turned way down and the bright, colorful display is hidden when the watch goes into idle mode, but the screen is still on. Not only is it sipping on battery power, but it's also an annoyance when you're trying to sleep or wearing it in a dark room (perhaps in a movie theater).

Google did include an option to disable the idle screen. Here are two different methods to achieve the same results:

  • Launch the Android Wear companion app on your Android device and tap on the Settings icon.
  • On the next screen, you will find an option to disable the "Screen always on" setting. Uncheck the box and back out of the Android Wear app.

Alternatively, you can disable the idle screen on your watch.

  • Tap on the main screen and scroll down to access the menu.
  • Select Settings from the list of options.
  • Tap on the option for "Always-on screen" to toggle it to off.

Either method will prevent the screen from lighting up unless you raise your arm or tap on the device. Granted, the idle screen likely isn't a huge drain on battery life, but every bit counts. Not to mention, trying to sleep with a screen lit up on your wrist or nightstand while charging is never fun.