Android Wear is getting a little fragmented at the moment, but don’t worry Google is about to bring it all back together. In the US, the LG Urbane 2 with LTE has just been released and it turns out that it’s running Android Marshmallow under the hood, but Google will soon be rolling this out to other Android Wear devices, as well as adding in some new gesture support, and finally taking advantage of that mysterious speaker we’ve seen on the Moto 360 2015 and Asus ZenWatch 2.
In new support docs released on the Google Support site, Google has listed all the new wrist gesture options. The wrist flick gesture introduced previously is still there, but there’s going to be more. Some actions will be available on cards, while others will be available from the watch face. The Google Support site lists the actions as:
Take action on a card
To see more details or take an action
Hold your arm in front of you and quickly push down, and bring it back normally to the original position.
Pushing down on a card will take you to that card’s first action. Pushing down a second time will select that first action, which is the most common action. There is not a way to select or perform an action after the first action using solely gestures.
To go back
Hold your arm in front of you and quickly pivot up, and bring it back normally to the original position.
Note: Pivoting up does not exit an app. To go back to the watch face, shake your wrist.
If you’re replying to a message, you can use this pivot up gesture to see the original message. You can also use this gesture to cancel a voice action before it sends.
From the watch face
To open the apps menu
When on the main watch face screen, hold your arm in front of you and quickly push down, and bring it back normally to the original position.
To pull down settings from the watch face
When on the main watch face screen, slowly turn wrist away from you then quickly flick back towards you.
To return to the watch face
Hold your arm in front of you and shake or jiggle your wrist out and in quickly a couple of times.
You can use this gesture to go back to the watch face or cancel an action before it’s completed.
Learn more about how to use your watch.
The use of the as yet unannounced speaker on-board a couple of next gen Android Wear watches has now been outlined in one Google support doc relating to accessibility options on Android Wear. The speaker has also been referenced as an upcoming feature in a teardown of the latest Google Play Music APK by Android Police. The support doc shows that the speaker will be used to read back information, with Google stating:
Audio Feedback reads the time and notification cards, including the actions you can perform on them. By using Audio Feedback along with voice actions, you can perform tasks such as sending and responding to SMS messages and making and receiving calls from your watch.
Android Police also found in their latest Google Play Music APK teardown that the speaker in later model Android Wear watches will be offered as an option when playing back music. Whether we agree with giving people the option to do that or not is another question, but the functionality will be there.
It seems that the LTE support announced on Thursday last week is only the start of the next Android Wear update. Speaker support, Gesture support and LTE connectivity seem to be on the list as well, and it’s now that we’re seeing the divide between gen 1 and gen 2 Android Wear devices – the question is, is it enough to make you purchase another watch?