Android Wear 1.3 update to make smartwatches smarter
Version 1.3 of Google’s smartwatch platform Android Wear will be delivered to over the air people’s wrists in the next few weeks, and the company has started to reveal exactly what we can expect to see.
First up: Google Translate on your wrist: “It’s easy to use – just speak into your watch to see your conversation translated into any of 44 languages. Flip your wrist to show the translation to a friend. When they respond in their own language, flip your wrist back, and you’ll see in your language what they’ve just said,” the company writes.
This is a genuinely useful update, although I can’t help feel that the company’s
This is a genuinely useful update, although I can’t help feel that the company’spost about it on the Google Translate blog is, ironically, a little loose with its language: “Google Translate will automatically recognise which of the two languages is being spoken, so once you tap to start the conversation, all you and your buddy need to do is keep talking naturally.” I suppose that is “talking naturally”, if you’re used to sticking your wrist between you and the person you’re talking to while conversing.
Still, this is a very useful feature for simple exchanges when abroad, without having to work your way through smartphone menus. It covers 44 of the 90 language Google Translate does, but the company hints they will be adding more over time.
Next up: interactive watch faces. Watch Maker already allows developers to draw in their own widgets (one on my wrist shows the phone and watch’s battery life, for example), but now Google is adding support for watches with widgets built in natively.
Writing this time on the official Android blog, Google gave a few examples with some new face designs. Bits shows a design with a clock in the centre, surrounded by six other circles that expand to give other information (email and weather are shown), while the Under Armour face gives you a running tally of fitness achievements for the day alongside the time.
Meanwhile Android Wear’s “Together” capability allows you to pair your watch with someone else’s, letting you share pictures, emojis or other information with your partner “even when you’re apart”, straight from the wrist.
The update, which will also bring Wi-Fi support to the LG G Watch R, will be delivered over the air to smartwatches over the next few weeks.