Google announced earlier today that it will soon roll out a software update for Android Wear that will bring several new features to your smartwatch. Some of the most attractive features include the ability to use Wi-fi, offline music, and GPS without having your phone around. These new features will bring Android Wear devices more in line with the features of the Samsung Galaxy Gear S, with the exception that the Android Wear watch can only remote connect to your phone over wi-fi. The complete set of the new features includes:
- Hands free: Flick your wrist to scroll through your card stream.
- Phone free: Now Android Wear supports watches with built-in Wi-Fi. As long as your watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network, and your phone has a data connection (wherever it is), you’ll be able to get notifications, send messages, and use all your favorite apps
- Always-on screen, always-on apps: Android Wear watches are always at the ready – with most Wear watches you can check the time without having to move it around. Now, the same applies to apps on your watch without it going to sleep. So, if you are on a run and want to keep Maps up to find your way, or you’re grocery shopping and want to have your Google Keep list up for easy access, you can.
- Can’t talk? Now you can draw hundreds of different emojis, directly on the watch screen. We’ll recognize your work (no art degree required) and send it via message or text.
These features look very promising, allowing users to no longer be tethered to their phone for every smartwatch task. Google says the new LG Watch Urbane will be the first to get the new features, with an OTA rolling out to the other Android watches in the next few weeks. Only time will tell if this update pushes me back to my Moto 360, I’ve been using the Gear S as my daily watch for a few months and really enjoy it. I really enjoy using Google Now voice control so I am hoping this update allows me to use my Android Wear watch more. Which features of the update are you looking forward to the most?
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