Incoming Android Wear update could add support for standalone WiFi and new gesture controls


Moto 360 screen

What’s the best way to respond to a competitor’s product unveiling? Well, probably to improve your existing counterpart. Not that we needed a report to know that Google was working on some new updates for Android Wear, but The Verge claims to have some fine detail about what’s coming in the next upgrade.

Two of the biggest things to expect are support for standalone WiFi and gesture-based UI navigation. The former would do away with the need to use Bluetooth to communicate with whatever device your Android Wear device is paired with. This is great for situations where you might not be close enough to your phone for your smart watch to pick it up, though it obviously means you have to have both devices on the same WiFi network.

As for those gestures, there isn’t much — a flick of the wrist can now help you scroll through the user interface instead of having to navigate with your finger — but it’s a nice and natural step forward for those who might need to control their watches hands-free.

One last change we’re told to expect is easier access to both contacts and applications menus. When’s all this coming? There’s no word yet, though Google hasn’t been terribly slow to iterate with Android Wear to this point, and if we’re already hearing details about what the new upgrade will bring we imagine it’s almost ready to come out of the oven.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Look forward to the update… Maybe this will be Wear 5.1

  2. “Incoming” usually implicates that something has taken off and is en route. Is that true or was the title of this post just clickbait?

  3. My smart watch is waiting patiently.

  4. They need to figure out a way to work with Minuum… That keyboard paired with wear messenger is clutch when needing to respond to text messages and you don’t want to pull out your phone or talk into your watch.

  5. Well it makes sense to have standalone WiFi if they’re going to try to get it to work with iOS.

  6. Other reports also say NFC support coming. They also should get GPS APIs going for when chipsets start to appear with GPS built in.

  7. I just need easier/custom access to my apps. So far the predetermined ranking for apps is ‘okay’. Who the hell wants their contacts on their Wear? I don’t want 100+ listings showing on that small screen, all it needs is better voice control and not try to be more Appleish.

  8. This is just to lay out future hardware upgrades in Gen 2 or higher? Or does my Moto 360 actually have a hidden wifi radio that needs an update?

  9. Ive scoured the net for the lg g watch (wearing one) for a WiFi radio, and I think I’m s.o.l.

  10. Thank apple. A day after the announcement got google upgrading stuff they should have released from jump. Lol.

  11. I think it’s a little misleading that you say standalone WiFi is an incoming feature, but you use a picture of a watch that doesn’t have WiFi radios.

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