Android Wear is finally getting an update. It brings the version to 1.4 and actually brings in quite a few changes to Android Wear, which many users are going to be excited about. This morning we saw that the next update may bring speaker support to a few smartwatches like the ASUS Zenwatch 2 and the Huawei Watch that already have speakers built in. Now according to Google’s blog post, it does use the speaker for making calls now. Definitely a great feature to add into Android Wear. The speaker will also allow you to listen to messages on your wrist, especially useful for voicemails.
On top of speaker support, we are also getting some new gestures in this update. Now you can push to expand a card, lift to bring up your apps and shake to return to your watch face. This is on top of the scrolling gestures that Google announced with Android Wear last year. Allowing you to use your smartwatch with just one hand instead of pulling out your phone or using your other hand. Often times our hands are full, making gestures pretty important. Google is also expanding the ability to send messages using your voice on Android Wear. Now you can send messages using voice commands via WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Telegram, NextPlus and of course Google Hangouts. One of the examples that Google uses for this is “OK Google, Send a WhatsApp message to Nathan: I’ll be right there.” So again, you can leave your phone in your pocket and send a message to anyone on many different messaging platforms.
Android Wear has always been about convenience. The ability to check your notifications, send messages, write to-do lists all from your wrist is nice and all. But it’s great to see even more functionality coming to Android Wear. Specifically the ability to make phone calls on your wrist. Something that the Galaxy Gear did right out of the box when it was announced alongside the Galaxy Note 3 a few years ago. Google has stated in their press release that the improvements mentioned here will be rolling out to all of the Android Wear smartwatches “over the next few weeks”. Looks like another staged rollout here for this update as well. As soon as OTA’s start surfacing, we’ll be sure to let everyone know.