Android Wear bringing new Gestures, Speaker Support, and more

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Google has announced a number of changes for Android Wear-powered smartwatches that make controlling things easier from your wrist.

At long last, speaker support in Android Wear is being enabled, meaning select smartwatches will be able to make calls and listen to messages using the included speaker.

“You’re walking to meet a friend with coffee in hand. Or maybe it’s really cold outside, so you’re rocking a pair of mittens. Or maybe you’re in the middle of making dinner.

There are plenty of times when you’ve got your hands full but still need to stay on top of reminders, messages, and calls. That’s why Android Wear includes things like voice actions and gestures.”

 

Android Wear will be expanding hands-free options in a number of ways:

  • 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).

These updates will be rolling out to all Android Wear watches over the coming weeks.

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