Android Wear still has a ways to go before it feels like a fully-functional operating system, but an incoming update should add a handful of much needed features and improvements. A new report from Phandroid reveals Google’s plans for Android Wear 5.0 Lollipop, and it looks pretty great.
One of the biggest improvements coming to Android Wear is a watch face API, which will open the door for tons of new customization options. The update also makes it possible to show weather notifications right from the watch face, so you can find that information with a quick glance. Google is apparently introducing some of its own new watch faces as well, but we’re more excited to see what third-party developers and designers come up with.
Another huge improvement is the ability to bring back a notification card once you swipe it away. Just swipe up and you’ll see the option to undo your previous gesture. The inability to recover a notification once you dismiss it is one of the most common complaints we hear about Android Wear, and it’s nice to know that Google is listening to its early adopters.
Google will also let you control screen brightness with Theater Mode and Sunlight Mode. Just swipe down and you’ll see a new menu that includes those two options along with Silence and Settings buttons. Sunlight mode should make it possible to read your device in direct sunlight, while Theater Mode will be great for wearing a smartwatch in movie theaters and other dark places.
A few other improvements include new accessibility options for the vision impaired, with the ability to magnify text and invert colors, and an improved action menu that shows a list of your recent activities. Finally, an updated companion app for your phone or tablet will show remaining battery life and storage space.
There’s no official word on when this update will roll out, but Phandroid claims Android Wear 5.0 Lollipop could arrive as soon as next month. We can’t wait to try it out, though it’s possible some things could change between now and the final release.