For the next version of Android Wear, Google may introduce a set of new features to make communication between smartwatches more personal, and viewing information you care about much faster. The news comes from a leak published by Phandroid, and although it claims the information comes from Google documentation, it’s said to be quite old, and therefore plans may have evolved beyond this by now. However, it’s still an interesting glimpse at where Google may take the wearable OS.
If the report is accurate, Google may be working on a feature called Together, which provides a watch-to-watch direct communication method, for wearers to send emoji, photos, stickers, messages, and doodles to each other. The most recent version of Android Wear added a feature where emoji could be ‘drawn’ on screen. This sounds like an evolution of that, and a response to Apple’s Digital Touch feature on the Apple Watch.
Oddly, the leak says this is restricted for use with a single watch face, and not part of Android Wear as a whole. This would mean, potentially, that both parties would need to have the same watch face running at the same time to send and receive these messages. While possible, this would restrict the appeal for anyone who likes to change the watch face on a regular basis, without consulting their friends beforehand.
The other possible feature discussed in the leaked documentation concerns a new single tap control method for Android Wear. Navigating to the main menu screens will be moved to a right-to-left swipe, and the single screen tap control will be used for a variety of different watch face related features, according to the report.
For example, a tap could cycle between different information screens — such as more detailed weather reports, deeper fitness data, or alternative color schemes — plus as a faster way to access more data. An image shows a tap on a Google Fit watch face bringing up a related card, that can be swiped away after it has been read. Single screen taps are intuitive, and this could add considerable functionality to Android Wear’s watch faces.
Apparently, Google intended to launch the new Android Wear software at the end of July, but has since pushed the release into August. However, none of this is official. We’ll keep you updated with developments.
- Common iOS 13 problems and how to fix them (iOS 13.7 update)
- The best iOS 14 tips and tricks
- The best smartwatches for 2021
- What is Signal? How to use the encrypted messaging app
- The best Android apps (January 2021)