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Android Wear to get Wi-Fi and gesture support in next major update

by Todd Haselton | March 10, 2015March 10, 2015 9:00 am PDT

One of the neat new features offered by the Apple Watch is support for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, a feature that most other smartwatches on the market don’t support. That’s set to change in the near future, according to a new report published by The Verge on Tuesday.

The news outlet said it learned from sources inside Google that the next Android Wear release will deliver several new features, including Wi-Fi support. That might not seem like a lot on the surface, but it really is. If your phone is dead, for example, and Android Wear doesn’t have a direct connection to the device that sends it notifications, it can instead tap into a Wi-Fi network to receive information.

The Verge said that Google will also deliver gesture controls in the update. “Users will be able to flick their wrist to scroll through notifications and Google Now cards, rather than needing to use their other hand to swipe on the screen,” the site explained, without going into detail about the kinds of gestures users will need to execute. Presumably, however, they’ll rely on the sensors inside the watch that keep track of movement and that can translate a specific gesture into a command. Finally, apparently the UI will get a small update with new notifications.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether Google is also going to offer up support for iOS, which could help attract iPhone users who otherwise can’t sync up with Android Wear watches. The Verge didn’t say when the update is expected to roll out.

The Verge

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...