Android Wear Wi-Fi support official

LG G Watch R1This was brought to my attention last night (thanks Roy!) and this Google Wear announcement is a big one.

A new version of Android Wear will be rolling out over the coming weeks and it’s set to include a number of previously rumored features as well as some brand new, new stuff.

A watch should be able to tell you the time whenever you look at it. No tapping, wrist shaking – just a glance. Just think if you could assign apps to the same always-on ambient mode?

Well, the new version of Android Wear allows apps to operate in ambient mode too, so they remain active when the watch goes to sleep. Before you start to worry about battery life, the app will sit in black and white and only go into full-colour mode when you look it it.

wear always on

WiFi support is also coming in the update, which means your watch can be useful even if your phone isn’t connected. Watches with WiFi support will be able to connect to WiFi and still get messages and notifications from your phone, provided it has an internet connection wherever it is. Even cooler is, if you should leave your phone somewhere, you can ask your watch to find it.

android wear emoji replyThe watch face tap actions are changing in this update too. Now you’ll get three columns when you tap — apps, contacts, and voice search. You can still use the hot word to get voice search up immediately, though. When replying to messages, you will have a new option to draw emoji, and the watch will figure out what you mean – apparently. I’d love to see how good this works in the wild.

wear gesturesFinally, there’s gesture scrolling in the new version of Wear. This means that through a simple flick your wrist you’ll be able to scroll through the stream.

I am not sure if this will work in apps or just in the main Wear UI.

You’ll be able to use this and all the other new features on all Android Wear devices when the update hits in a few weeks.