Those in the possession of Android Wear smartwatches are soon to be greeted with some nifty new features that they’ll be able to take advantage of. Dubbed version 5.1, this upgraded software brings with it Wi-Fi support as well as a few interesting user interface additions.
Android Wear devices that have Wi-Fi onboard will have an option to use something other than just Bluetooth to pair their smartphones with. This way, they’ll be able to get notifications on their smartwatches even if their handsets are not with them. The feature will of course only work if the watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network and the phone has a data connection.
Another new addition is an always-on screen feature that can be used by all apps instead of just the main watch face. As you can see in the image above, the screen goes black and white when you’re not actively looking at the device, in order to save battery life.
A while ago, we had learned about a rumor which had said that Android Wear smartwatches will be blessed with gesture support to let users flick their wrists to navigate the interface. That news was true, and the trait has indeed arrived with the 5.1 update.
The lack of an app drawer on Google’s wearables software had prompted a developer to create one initially in order to tend to the needs of those who were demanding it. Google has heard their cries, and has introduced a native app drawer which can be accessed by just touching the watch face once.
Additionally, Android Wear’s new update will also allow you to draw emojis so that they can be recognized and sent to whomsoever you desire to send them to. Pop-up notifications and adjustable font sizes are two things the update will only bring to Sony’s SmartWatch 3.
The new Android Wear update is supposed to begin its rollout in the next few weeks, with the new LG Watch Urbane having been chosen to be its first target.