Slapping on an Android Wear smartwatch makes your wrist smart, and soon, it’ll be able to do even more cool stuff. Three months after we reported on a leak of upcoming Android Wear features, the new update is now on its way, bringing a few new tricks to your Android-powered wearable.
Concerning the features headed to all Android Wear smartwatches first, it’s all about gestures and messaging, two chunks of the wrist-based OS that can only benefit from a little more spit shine.
Three new gestures are coming in the upcoming update to make it easier to do more with less effort. “Push” and “lift” allow you proceed or go back in a menu, respectively. To execute these, just move your arm down or up from its resting position.
“Shake” is a new gesture that acts as a shortcut to return to the watchface. It’s going to be hard to use this one in public without attracting attention.
Though not formally announced, Google is packing a handy new tool inside the update that allows you to practice Android Wear gestures. I’ll definitely be using this.
A more personable experience
The update also brings with it the ability to send messages with your voice. In addition to asking Google questions, you’ll now be able to fire off verbal replies through a ton of supported apps, like Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp.
Sending messages with your voice won’t appeal to everyone, but it definitely has its use for busy bodies with their hands full. It’s also nice to see that this “Okay Google” capability works outside of the company’s own preloaded messaging software, something the Apple Watch shies away from.
Another new feature coming will only be enjoyed by those who own the Huawei Watch, or the Asus ZenWatch2. Android Wear is finally switching on their built-in speakers and you can now take calls over Bluetooth, and actually hear them through the smartwatch.
The new update will launch in the “next few weeks” across the entire Android Wear portfolio of smartwatches. Let us know what you think about it once you give it a try and what other features you’re looking forward to in the future.
- There are a lot of Android Wear options in our list of best smartwatches