It wasn’t that long ago that Android Wear got its big update to Android 5.1.1, but now rumors about the next revision of the smartwatch operating system are starting to pop up. According to the well-connected Artem Russakovskii, the Android Wear team is currently cooking up support for watches with built-in speaker hardware, as well as planning to introduce on-watch calling…

While neither of these things are necessarily new ideas, they would be firsts for devices that run Google’s wearable OS. If these rumors do turn out to be true, it’s worth noting that Android Wear hardware with speakers in-tow should be right around the corner. And while this isn’t exactly a feature that I’ve heard many Wear users crying for, it’s definitely going to be handy to be able to pick between different types of alerts: sounds, vibration, or both.

As for on-watch phone calls, it’s going to be nice to have for those who are trying to avoid buying into Apple’s smartwatch offering. It makes sense that support for hardware speakers and audible alerts would come alongside support for on-watch calls, as you need the former to be able to do the latter. Also, with support for on-watch calls, Google might just be laying the groundwork for Android Wear to support devices like the LG Watch Urbane LTE.

Artem says that he doesn’t have any word on timing, but it would make sense for Google to be planning some kind of introduction for Google I/O at the end of the month. The company is surely planning on introducing to the world the next major version of Android, dubbed Android M, and alongside that announcement will likely come mention of how things are going to be changing on the smartwatch side of things as well.

We’ll be at Google I/O in a couple weeks to keep you in the loop on all the latest developments.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.