WhatsApp Beta Update Includes Android Wear Support

August 4, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

Let’s face it, one of the most popular uses of a smartphone is messaging – whether it is to have a conversation with a family member, a friend or groups of friends – it is the new way to communicate.  I don’t know about you, but in this world of ‘whiners,’ the last thing I want to do is listen to someone complain about their problems for an hour over the phone – it interrupts my own time to unwind and relax.  But, I will message or text you back almost anytime – for one thing I can continue doing what I want to do and secondly, most messaging ‘conversations’ do not last near as long as a real, verbal conversation.

One of the most popular messaging apps, WhatsApp, has been downloaded somewhere between 500 million to a one billion times!  It has many great features and is available for several platforms, it’s free for the first year than after that service costs just $0.99 annually. Another nice feature is that there are no international messaging charges of any sort – so message away to friends or family that may live overseas.  Even though WhatsApp is designed to always be on and always connected, if you want to disconnect, it will store your messages ‘offline,’ so the next time you sign in you will receive them all at once.

With all of this popularity, it is nice to see that it is available for use on your Android Wear wearables, such as the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch…and soon to be coming, Moto 360.  Version 2.11.318 of WhatsApp is available HERE for download on the developers’ website.  After testing, they will port it over to the Google Play Store to download in the usual manner.  This update will give you access to many features that Android Wear users have been waiting for:  Complete Message Preview – not only will you see the entire message on your smartwatch, but you can also see the individual sender’s name in a group conversation.  Stacked Notifications – if you get several messages, it will allow you to expand them and read each one individually.  Voice Replies – by swiping, you will be able to answer the message by voice, rather than ‘typing.’

There are still a few things that need worked out – as there always are in updates such as these – but it is now to the point where it is almost on par with Google’s own Hangouts as used on an Android Wear smartwatch.  Soon there will be many people speaking to their wrists…but remember when Bluetooth was used in cars for the first time – you would see people at a stop light ‘talking to themselves,’ and now we don’t give them a second glance.

Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you use WhatsApp with the new Android Wear smartwatches and if you are loving the new update…as always we would love to hear from you.