New Android Wear Update Rolling Out With WiFi Support, Easier App Drawer, Tilt Controls, Emoji Support, And More Material Design
Android Wear has been slowly evolving since it’s release and today it’s taking it’s next big step. A new update is rolling out that promises lots of new useful functionality.
- Wi-Fi Support
First of all, Android Wear is getting support for WiFi. On compatible devices, this option will allow users to use their watch independent of their phone as long as the watch has a WiFi connection and their phone has a data connection regardless of where it is. This could prove useful in places like the gym or the pool where you can’t have your phone on hand, but you can have your watch. You’ll still be able to get notifications, receive messages and interact with everything just as if you were connected over Bluetooth.
- Always-On Apps
The always-on screen feature on Android Wear has proved quite useful in the past and in this update it’s only getting better. Now users can open up apps and leave them open when the watch is not being looked at. This allows apps to stay open for as long as you want rather than closing after you look away.
- Tilt Controls
Possibly the most useful feature is this update is the addition of flick and tilt gestures. Flicking your wrist away from you will actually allow you to go through your cards without ever having to touch the screen. This will prove very useful if you can’t spare both hands to check your cards.
- “App Drawer”
One of the biggest complaints about Android Wear was how long it took to open an app if you didn’t use your voice. In this update Google is removing that issue by adding an app drawer that holds your apps, frequent contacts, and voice search and commands and is available with just one tap. Apps are ordered based on how often you use them. Contacts are also just a swipe away and you’ll be able to easily send messages to them by tapping their profile picture.
- Emoji Support
Last but not least Google is adding emoji support to Android Wear. If you don’t want to talk you can now draw an emoji on screen to send it. You don’t have to be an artist or get the drawing perfect as the OS will recognize which emoji you are trying to use.
On a side note, it’s also worth mentioning that Android Wear is getting many more material design animations in this update and all the new features very clearly show Material Design aspects.
This update should be rolling out over the next few weeks and will be hitting all seven Android Wear devices.