Google has announced much needed updates for their OS for wearables, Android Wear, which comes with many new functionalities. From WiFi support to hand waving to cycle through notifications.
The lucky owners of devices running on Android Wear will receive a most interesting update: from the moment you install this, there will be many new functionalities that had been touted since smartwatches had first been touted, which makes the devices themselves more useful and desirable.
Chief amongst these new functionalities is using wrist movements to cycle through notifications, which means your other hand remains free to do whatever you’re doing. We guess it’s useful if you’re cooking, or holding a baby, mostly – regardless, it’s better to have it than not to.
Another feature is the option to keep an app always visible, without it disappearing from the watch – this is particularly useful for Maps, or music, but any app the user desires can be displayed like this. Once users are done with the app, it won’t disappear, but be shown in black and white in order to save energy.
Another new function is compatibility with WiFi networks to connect with the smartphone, which is in turn one of the most appreciated features as of now. With this new feature, if the smartphone and smartwatch are connected to the same WiFi network, they don’t have to be connected to each other via Bluetooth. That means that, if a user is in a different room outside of the phones’ reach, users can still get phonecalls, updates, and continue using the apps – it doesn’t mean the watch becomes independent, but it does add a certain amount of freedom.
The last of these big improvements is that now users can draw on their screens in order to communicate with other users – the software straight up recognizes what is the user intends to send, and will send an emoji instead of the drawing.
All of these updates are coming to Android Wear models starting with the LG Watch Urbane, and then rolling onto the LG G Watch, Moto 360, Zen Watch, Sony Smartwatch 3 and the rest.
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