Android Wear, Google’s wearable device platform, is getting endowed with a number of new input and output features as part of a firmware upgrade set to roll out “in the next few weeks.” Specifically, the watches will support a number of new gestures and voice commands, and tap into the functionality of their built-in speakers.
On the input side of things, the biggest news is the expansion of gesture controls beyond the basic wrist flick. After flicking to scroll among different cards, users will now be able to take action on them by quickly pivoting their arm downward in a motion referred to as “push.” Performing the action in reverse triggers a back command.
Finally, a quick back-and-forth shake of the wrist navigates to the home screen.
With the expanded voice command capability, owners will be able to dictate messages to a variety of apps, including some of the most popular messaging services: Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Telegram.
And with the newly enabled speaker support, Android Wear watches can finally be used as Bluetooth speakerphones for tethered handsets. Compatible wearables include the Huawei Watch and 49mm Asus ZenWatch 2.
This latest update will push the OS version to 1.4.0.