Launched before the Apple Watch, Android Wear wasn’t adopted at the rate as the latest offering from Cupertino, but this week Google has released and update for the platform which brings Android Wear closer to the Apple Watch.
A number of changes are brought with the update such as WiFi support, new hand gestures and something which sounds familiar to Apple’s Digital Touch; hand-drawn emoji.
The hand-drawn emoji feature came from a hackathon which Google hosted last week, but the company decided to turn it into a new feature. Jeff Chang from Google said, “We had volunteer Googlers send us hundreds of thousands of drawing samples.” – But Chang suggests that the new feature will let users have a reliable way of communicating with people. You can draw the emoji you’d like to send to someone and then Android Wear will tidy it up and then send it.
Another new feature is WiFi support, as most of the Android Wear models have the functionality built in. Android Wear is going to use this for out of range communication. So this means if you’re at home and you leave your phone on charge and leave Bluetooth range, you can still get your notifications and it will still work the same way as if connected by Bluetooth. The Apple Watch also has this feature.
Another new feature is completely different to what Apple is doing with the Apple Watch and that is gestures. With Android Wear, the whole interface is built upon a card mechanism. The new update now adds gesture controls to allow you to switch to the next card in the stream.
The update is rolling out now