Got an Android Wear smartwatch? Then you should be on high alert in the coming weeks, as Google begins to roll out an update focusing on voice and gestures.
The update, which first began rolling out on February 4th, will up Android Wear smartwatches to version 1.4. Android Wear 1.4 brings three new features to Android Wear, all of which are designed to improve overall device functionality.
The first of those features is the ability to navigate your watch with new gestures. You will now be able to scroll down and up on your card stream simply by flicking your wrist and return to the home screen by pushing, lifting or shaking your wrist.
The second new feature is the ability to send more messages with your voice. Android Wear users will now be able to send messages from WeChat and WhatsApp and many other messaging services with their voice. And for the first time, you can get answers to questions with Google Now, so saying “OK Google” to your watch does a lot more than it did before.
The last new feature is the ability to make calls and listen to messages with speaker support. Some smartwatches with an external speaker will now be able to playback recorded messages and answer phone calls over Bluetooth. Strangely, however, this feature is only for the HUAWEI Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2 at the moment, although it is expected that additional device support will follow in the coming weeks, so stay tuned on that one.
Other than that, Android Wear 1.4 adds nothing else. However, version 1.4 does take a very important feature away – the battery statistics screen that lets you check the battery stats for different Android Wear-powered devices. That screen is now gone, and it has caused quite a bit of uproar with users who found the battery usage stats screen useful, although it is a small price to pay for all the extra features version 1.4 brings to smartwatches.