Google just announced a new Android Wear update that’s going to be rolling out to all Android Wear watches over the next few weeks. The update expands on gesture support for existing smartwatches, allowing you to do new things like “push, lift or shake” your smartwatch to execute certain commands.
It also adds the ability to send voice messages through third-party applications like WhatsApp. Finally, for specific phones including the Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2, it will also allow you to receive or place calls through Bluetooth.
Here’s a look at the changes as explained by Google:
- Navigate your watch with new gestures. Scrolling up and down your card stream is as simple as flicking your wrist. Starting today you can also expand a card, bring up your apps, or return home to your watch face with a push, lift or shake. You’ll be able to stay connected to what’s important, while keeping your phone (or other hand) in your pocket.
- Send more messages with just your voice. With Android Wear, you’ve always been able to get answers to spoken questions. Now you can also use your voice to send messages from apps like Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp. Running late for lunch? Just say “OK Google, Send a WhatsApp message to Nathan: I’ll be right there.”
- Make calls and listen to messages with speaker support. Screening calls from your wrist is a nice convenience that comes with Android Wear. Thanks to speaker support, you can now make and take calls over Bluetooth. And you can listen to audio/video messages with apps like Glide. All you need is a watch with a speaker, which today includes the Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2 (49mm).
Again, the update should hit in the coming weeks.