It’s been nearly three months since we first got wind of the Marshmallow update for Android Wear devices. The changelog was first spotted in the updated Android companion app and it was briefly released on the since recalled LTE version of the LG Watch Urbane 2. However, there are some signs that the update’s full release is imminent.
Google Messenger received an update this week that added an Android Wear app. The micro-APK is actually already on users’ watches, but it needs Marshmallow or higher, specifically requiring at least API Level 23, to work. As can be seen by on an app manager for Wear devices, it has a pretty exhaustive list of permissions, and Android Police speculates that the app on an LTE watch could send SMS without the need of a phone.
Rumors popped up late last year of Huawei Watch users on a beta program already testing Marshmallow. One such user confirmed the ability to play audio on the device. The Huawei device along with the most recent generation of Wear devices have built-in speakers that were not advertised. The Google Store has updated the product pages of the Asus ZenWatch 2 and Huawei Watch to mention the built-in speaker for taking and making phone calls, as well as hearing alarms and audio messages.
Marshmallow, also known as Android Wear 1.4, is going to be a big update. Opening up the speakers to developers will result in new features for users. In addition to making phone calls, Google is also adding a feature that reads out the time and incoming notifications, as detailed by these support documents. Additionally, there are new wrist gestures that allow users to better tap and scroll horizontally on a card.
With these recent changes, the update should be coming much sooner than later.