The Android Wear companion app received an update to version 1.4 over the weekend, and these 1.x updates to the phone app are usually a sign that a new update is coming to the watch(es) as well. Tomorrow will see the introduction of Tag Heuer’s long-awaited luxury entry, so the stars might be aligning for more than just hardware announcements in the morning…
A teardown of the app reveals that next version of Wear’s firmware (possibly 6.0?) will see the ability to take advantage of the speakers found on the latest generation of watches to take calls and play sounds.
The full change log of the next version of Wear is as follows:
-Ability to play sounds and take calls on watches with a speaker -Support for sending WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Telegram, and Nextplus messages with your voice or via touch – New gestures to control your watch with one hand – Battery life improvements – Language options for Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian, Polish, Dutch, and Thai
Android phones already have the ability to send messages through third-party apps purely by voice. Coupled with new gestures to control your watch, it seems Google is also moving towards making voice the primary means of interaction on Wear. Battery life improvements can be a red herring for a Marshmallow update to Android Wear as improved battery life is a marquee feature of Android 6.0 on phones and tablets.
Currently, the most user facing feature of the updated companion app is the removal of the battery life graph and the ability to disconnect/connect from the watch via a toggle (versus having to manually turn Bluetooth on and off). There’s also a new option to send diagnostic information to Google, though it is off by default.
The Wear update is rolling out to users right now (you can grab it on the Play Store for free) and stick to 9to5Google for continued Android Wear coverage as Tag Heuer announces their Wear device tomorrow.