Android Wear’s next update will bring Wi-Fi support, always-on apps and more

Android Wear, like Android proper, is a platform that’s built to constantly be improving through both small and major updates. In mid-March, the smartwatch platform gained the ability to help Android users find their missing smartphones, and now an upcoming update will add plenty of noteworthy features to the smartwatch lineup.

On Monday, April 20, Google confirmed that the next update to Android Wear will boast several different key features, including always-on apps. Google notes that while most of its Android Wear lineup features an always-on display, so you don’t have to twist or tap to find out what time it is, it can be frustrating to lose an app’s information just because you lower your arm. That’s changing in the update, though, as the display will stay on while the app is running, so the information that’s needed is always easily available.

image Android Wear always-on apps

On top of that, Android Wear is gaining Wi-Fi support, which means that leaving your phone at home isn’t such a terrible decision anymore. So now if the Android Wear watch is connected to Wi-Fi and your smartphone has a data connection wherever it might be, you’ll be able to receive notifications, send messages and use the apps you love.

On top of that, three other additions will surely make Android Wear owners happy. The first is the ability to draw emoji right on the watch’s display. The software will translate what you are trying to get across (like a thumb’s up) and then send that in a message or text. Next, Android Wear gains easier access to contacts and apps, just by tapping the display when on the main screen. And Android Wear will soon support the ability to scroll through feeds with just a flick of the wrist.

image Android Wear quick contacts

Google says the update will roll out to all seven Android Wear smartwatches over the next few weeks, and that it will begin with the recently announced LG Watch Urbane.

What do you think of the update?

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