Android Wear update hints at ability to take calls, play sounds, and accept new gestures
Android Wear version 1.4 is here, the but big news is in what’s to come.
According to an APK teardown, Google’s wearable platform may soon support taking calls on your watch through the speaker, the ability to play more sounds, add in additional gestures, and work with more chat platforms.
Why this matters: Android Wear is definitely a work in progress, as Google seeks to make watches running its operating system more powerful. While Android Wear is pretty good at giving you contextual information and notifications, there’s definitely a lot more potential in the kind of functionality Google can offer.
A look at what’s to come
When looking at the APK, Android Police found a changelog that lists a new set of upcoming features. The items include:
- Ability to play sounds and take calls on watches with a speaker
- Support for sending WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Telegram, and Nextplus messages with your voice or via touch
- New gestures to control your watch with one hand
- Battery life improvements
- Language options for Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian, Polish, Dutch, and Thai.
The possibility of taking voice calls on an Android Wear watch would be a welcome update, as it’s a standout feature for those who have an Apple Watch. Also, because using a smartwatch means having yet another device to charge, battery life improvements are always welcome.
Here’s what’s new
The list of updates that you’ll get right now is pretty minor. You can now turn off the tip cards, as they can be rather redundant if you already know what you’re doing.
Unfortunately, Google has axed the battery stats. The implementation wasn’t great, so perhaps this has been pulled into a more visually-friendly version is released.
Also, in the Settings you’ll find the Cloud sync toggle has been moved into the new Privacy & personal data sub-screen. The former ensures that your watch data is backed up to your Google account, while the latter lets you send diagnostic and usage data to Google. It’s worth doing, because Google uses this information to tweak and optimize the platform.