Google’s latest Android Wear update adds call support, new gestures

Wear gets even greater. Photo: Google

Wear gets even greater. Photo: Google

A major Android Wear upgrade adds support for making and receiving phone calls on compatible devices, new gestures, and the ability to use your voice to send messages with a long list of third-party apps.

“There are plenty of times when you’ve got your hands full but still need to stay on top of reminders, messages, and calls,” notes Google in today’s announcement, so the company is making it even easier to go hands-free — starting with a number of new gestures.

You can now scroll up and down through your list of cards simply by flicking your wrist, and when you reach a card you want to see more of, you just push your wrist toward the floor. Closing the card is as easy as pulling your wrist toward the sky.

The same push gesture also lets you access your Wear apps from the watch face, while using a pull will display the settings menu.

If you want to send a message, you can now use your voice with third-party apps like Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat and WhatsApp — and Google’s own Hangouts. Just use easy commands like, “OK Google, Send a WhatsApp message to Nathan: I’ll be right there.”

Finally, Android Wear now lets you make and receive calls. You’ll need a device with a microphone and speaker — such as the Huawei Watch or the Asus ZenWatch 2 (49mm) — plus a Bluetooth (not Wi-Fi) connection with your phone.

Wear will also allow you to listen to audio and video messages from apps like Glide now, too.

Google says its latest Wear update will roll out to all “over the next few weeks.”