+ Sunday September 22nd, 2019

Android Wear

It looks as if the next instalment for Android Wear is flying out over the airwaves as we speak, and while most changes appear to be fairly superficial, there’s some hints at what’s to come, thanks to some in-depth analysis over at Android Police.

The changes, which aren’t easily found, include the moving of the Cloud Sync toggle from the main screen to a new sub-screen which covers Privacy and Personal Data. Also to be found in this section is a new toggle for sending diagnostic information to Google. Scintillating stuff.

There’s a further option in the Settings screen which allows you to turn off tips about new watch features; these are great for users new to Android Wear, but if you’re well familiar with them, you can save yourself a bit of annoyance by simply turning these tips off. Honestly this seems to be a bit of a silly change, but nonetheless, it’s there.

A more disappointing change, for hardcore users at least, is the removal of battery stats. Under the settings for individual watches, an entry for Watch Battery used to show you some usage information about the connected Android Wear device; this is now gone. It makes sense for it to be gone, because with such a small battery and such a restrictive OS, there’s little a user can really do to change their battery life, but it was nice to see anyway.

Where it gets a little bit more interesting is what this version 1.4 app hints for the future. The changelog from within the app reads as follows:

<string name=”listing_changelog”>”Android Wear OS and companion phone app update with:
– Ability to play sounds and take calls on watches with a speaker
– Support for sending WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Telegram, and Nextplus messages with your voice or via touch
– New gestures to control your watch with one hand
– Battery life improvements
– Language options for Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian, Polish, Dutch, and Thai

While at first glance this might not seem too exciting, read it again. The first bullet point reads “Ability to play sounds and take calls on watches with a speaker”. Audio support on Android Wear was always coming “some time”, but it seems that “some time” might now be “soon”; both the Huawei Watch and the LG Urbane 2nd Gen feature a built in speaker, and it looks as if you’ll soon be able to get all Dick Tracy with your watch and take calls just by talking and listening to your wrist.

The rest of the changes really aren’t too exciting, including amongst them some changes to gesture control for one-handed operation, and more language options.

If you haven’t received the new updated Android Wear app yet, you can download the signed APK from APK Mirror to get started early.


Source: Android Police.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Paul Miller
Ausdroid Reader

Re: removal of Battery chart – “this is now gone. It makes sense for it to be gone” I’m sorry, but it doesn’t make any sense for it to be gone! While it isn’t as helpful as it could be it, at least, gives you an idea as to what might be responsible for the bulk of your watch battery’s drain – perhaps allow you the opportunity to decide whether to keep a particular app and accept its cost to the battery or simply uninstall it and enjoy the extra life between charges. It was also a CHART! I like… Read more »

Nick Tsiotinos
Ausdroid Reader

Sounds good – just in time for the Tag Heuer release tomorrow!

vijay alapati
vijay alapati

awesome, now i wish xiaomi will release a cheaper wear for daily use 🙂

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