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Android Wear users will receive an update to Google’s Camera app that lets them use their wearable device as a remote control to snap photos with their tablet or camera.

The app’s new version 2.3 lets users tap a button on their smartwatch to take the photo from their Android device. When users update the Camera app to the new version on their tablet or phone, a card will pop up on the Android Wear platform that allows for remote photo capturing. Users can tap this card, which acts as a shutter release button, to take a picture. You’ll see a countdown, the snapping of the photo, and a preview of the photo on your smartwatch.

Google released its Google Camera app back in April, delivering such depth-of-field and lens-blur effects as had previously only been available on Nexus devices. Google’s announcement of Android Wear, its smartwatch and wearables software platform, came in March of this year, and specific details of Android Wear’s features were displayed at Google’s I/O conference in June.

The Android Wear shutter release button and corresponding functionality will only work with Google’s Camera app, since it contains a specific mini Android application package file. Also, Android Wear platforms only connect to Android phones running Android 4.3 or later.

The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live smartwatches operate on the Android Wear platform. Perhaps Google’s little features — like this one with the Camera app — will give Android Wear the competitive edge it needs in an emerging market of smartwatches.

Considering the hype around Apple’s highly anticipated iWatch that could be out in time for Christmas, an edge is especially important.


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