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February 4, 2016

Google brings speaker support, new gestures and more to Android Wear

by John_A

Huawei-Watch-Elegant-Jewel-5

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen any improvements come to Google’s wearable platform, but that changes today. Google has just announced a big update to Android Wear that will bring some new gestures, new options for sending voice messages to your contacts, and the ability to make calls and listen to messages with speaker support.

Early last year, Google introduced gestures to Android Wear that would allow users to navigate through cards without the need to touch the screen at all. With this latest update, you’ll be able to expand information cards, bring up applications and return home to your watch face with a simple push, lift or shake.

Today’s update will also allow you to send messages with more third-party applications with just your voice. Now you can send messages from apps such as Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat and WhatsApp. For instance, to send a Hangouts message, all you need to do is say “Okay Google, Send a Hangouts message to Jimmy: How’s it going?” Google understands not all folks use standard text messages to communicate with friends, so this update should make keeping in touch much easier.

Last but not least, Google has introduced speaker support to Android Wear. With speaker support, you’ll be able to take and receive calls over Bluetooth, and even listen to audio/video messages with apps like Glide. Of course, this feature won’t be available for all current Android Wear watches. You’ll need a device with a built-in speaker, and right now that only includes the Huawei Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2 (49mm).

This big update is coming to all Android Wear watches over the next few weeks, including the new Casio Smart Outdoor Watch and Huawei Watch for Ladies.


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