Google has steadily been improving Android Wear since its debut in 2014, adding features like Wi-Fi support and always-on apps. Today Google is expanding Android Wear’s feature set again with added hands-free functionality.
With the newest Android Wear update, users will have expanded navigation gestures like pushing, lifting, and shaking to expand a card, call up their apps, and return to the watch face. Google is also enabling the ability to send messages from apps like Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp using your voice. Simply say “Ok Google, send a WhatsApp message to Nathan: I’ll be right there,” to use the feature.
Finally, any Android Wear watch with a speaker (like the Huawei Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2) will be able to begin and accept phone calls over Bluetooth. They’ll also be able to listen to audio and video messages.
Google says that these new features will be rolling out to Android Wear devices over the coming weeks, so it may take some time for the watch on your wrist to get them.
These new Android Wear features sound nifty. The expanded gestures will help you to navigate your watch when your non-watch hand is occupied, and the voice features will let you do more when your phone isn’t nearby. For example, if you need to make a phone call but your phone is in another room charging or something like that, this update will let you make the call from your wrist without you having to get up.