Android Wear Update Introduces Wi-Fi Support and Wrist Gesture Scrolling

Google has announced an update for Android Wear which offers up a few new functionality features to the mobile OS for wearable tech.

Touching down initially on the LG Urbane smart watch the new firmware for Android Wear will introduce three main additions. Firstly, a battery saving mode whereby the screen, despite being always on, will only display in its full colour glory when the user is looking at it. This will allow quick glancing at the information you need, as soon as you need it. No need to tap a screen or press a button and then wait a second for the watch to display content such as the time or to check a map, for example.

Also included in the update is Wi-Fi support which allows notifications from your most used apps such as WhatsApp to appear on screen and messages to be sent from your smart watch via its in-built wireless connectivity – that is provided your phone is also connected to a WiFi or mobile data network. And the phone can be anywhere, so you don’t even need to take it out with you if you’ve got your Android Wear device strapped on, which is particularly useful if you’re out running or taking part in an activity where pockets aren’t an option.

You don’t even need to touch the device to view your notifications anymore either with the new ability to scroll through your messages and important prompts with the flick of a wrist. This feature works nicely in cooperation with the ‘always-on’ nature of the Android Wear products with this new update and there’s really no need to touch the device, meaning you can use your free hand for other tasks (keep it clean, yeah.)

A finally a fun little feature added will allow you to respond to texts and messages with emoji just by ‘drawing’ directly on the screen with a finger (not with a pen!) The Android Wear device will try to recognise your artwork from the vast library of smileys and symbols available and will replace your scribble with the actual emoji ready to be sent. Pretty neat if you’re in a dash.

The Android Wear update is expected to reach all seven devices currently running it within the next few weeks. Devices carrying the OS include the Galaxy Gear Live, Moto 360 and LG G Watch.