Google begins rolling out Marshmallow Android Wear update, includes speaker support

Android Wear users should expect to receive an update on their watches in the coming weeks, as Google has begun the roll out of the Marshmallow update. Among the key features included with the latest version of the operating system is speaker support for devices that have a built-in speaker.

The announcement came earlier today in a post on the Official Android Blog. In addition to speaker support, the update adds additional wrist gestures that allow users additional hands-free functionality and being able to use your voice to send messages in apps including Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat and WhatsApp.

The speaker support adds the ability to make and take calls on the watch via Bluetooth and listen to audio/video messages using apps like Glide. As of today, the Android Wear watches with built-in speakers are the Huawei Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2 (49mm), although more will be released in the future.

Here’s the full changelog from Google’s blog post:

  • Navigate your watch with new gestures. Scrolling up and down your card stream is as simple as flicking your wrist. 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. You’ll be able to stay connected to what’s important, while keeping your phone (or other hand) in your pocket.
  • Send more messages with just your voice. With Android Wear, you’ve always been able to get answers to spoken questions. Now you can also use your voice to send messages from apps like Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp. Running late for lunch? Just say “OK Google, Send a WhatsApp message to Nathan: I’ll be right there.”
  • Make calls and listen to messages with speaker support. Screening calls from your wrist is a nice convenience that comes with Android Wear. Thanks to speaker support, you can now make and take calls over Bluetooth. And you can listen to audio/video messages with apps like Glide. All you need is a watch with a speaker, which today includes the Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2 (49mm).

Google says the update is rolling out to all Android Wear devices over the next few weeks. To check for the update, head into your watch’s Settings menu, tap About, then System Updates.


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