Android Wear may still be a new platform when it comes to smart devices, and in this regard the Android Wear app is just as new. It has gone through a few updates already though since it launched back in the summer of 2014 alongside the first two Android Wear smartwatches, and Google has just updated it again to version 1.4 as of last week. The app update is filled mostly with small changes to the settings screen, so there are no huge visual overhauls to look for and no sweeping changes to fear that rip away the familiarity of how to use the app.
The first thing some users may notice is that Google has removed the screen inside of the app that reveals the battery stats for your different Android Wear devices. If you frequently checked this screen to figure out what your battery life was, it’s unfortunately been removed and is likely not coming back. Users of Google services should be used to Google removing specific features from its products by now though. If you use your Android Wear app as much as you use the watch, you may also notice some other settings tweaks as the settings menu now includes a toggle that you can enable if you wish to let Google gather diagnostic data about your device, and it’s now possible to disable the cards within the app that Google displays to show you helpful tips about using the app and Android Wear.
While the changes within the app probably won’t seem to be terribly exciting for most people, a teardown suggests that Google has some exciting stuff on the way, and not just to the app but also to the Android Wear OS. One of these things is looking to be support for speakers which users may finally soon have the ability to tap into if they have one of the two devices currently equipped with the hardware, or any future Android Wear smartwatches which have them built in. One of the best parts about Android Wear is the ability to send messages or issue other commands via certain apps with your voice, and Google looks to potentially be adding support in the next version of the platform to include support for a few more apps like Whatsapp and Viber among others. It also appears that they’ll be adding support for more languages soon, including Thai, Dutch, Cantonese, Indonesian, Mandarin, and Polish. There’s no detail as of when users can expect this update to the Android Wear OS, but with the changelog to the latest app version including data about these upcoming features it could be close. If you haven’t gotten the download for the latest version of the Android Wear app just yet, you can grab the apk from here to install.