On Thursday, Google announced a new update to Android Wear devices, bringing additional hands-free options.
"You're walking to meet a friend with coffee in hand. Or maybe it's really cold outside, so you're rocking a pair of mittens. Or maybe you're in the middle of making dinner. There are plenty of times when you've got your hands full but still need to stay on top of reminders, messages, and calls. That's why Android Wear includes things like voice actions and gestures. And today we're expanding these hands-free options," said Krystal Higgins, User Experience Designer for Android Wear, in a blog post on the update. "These improvements are rolling out to all Android Wear watches over the next few weeks, including new watches like the Casio Smart Outdoor Watch and Huawei Watch for Ladies."
The new hands-free features include new gesture support, additional voice messaging, and speaker support for Android Wear devices that feature a speaker. Currently, the Huawei Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2 (49mm) have speakers, according to Higgins. Users will be able to make and take calls on their smartwatch as well as listen to audio and video messages with apps like Glide via speaker support. The new voice support allows users to send messages from apps like Google Hangouts, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp using only their voice, in addition to being able to ask the device questions. For gestures, Android Wear already supports flicking your wrist to scroll up and down your card stream and now, users can do even more. Higgins explained, "Starting today you can also expand a card, bring up your apps, or return home to your watch face with a push, lift or shake."
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