Yes, I may have been on a hiatus for a few weeks, but I’m back and ready to keep you, my Moxie Mo Show fans, updated on all things moxie in technology. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know the Apple Watch is about to show up on your “early adopter” friends’ wrists. You also know smart watches and “wearables” are the hot thing in 2015.
What you may not know is a big update is coming to Android Wear (the OS that runs a ton of really cool smart watches).
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According to reports, Android Wear is officially getting a second major update soon and here are some of the big features that are coming:
1. Flicking Your Wrist Gestures: simply move or flick your wrist away from you to view the next notification; you can also move your wrist towards you to go back. Pretty clever.
2. New Interface Flow: Something a lot of Android smart watch owners have admitted is launching 3rd party apps have not been the easiest experience. Now, a new interface in the updated OS, will make launching those apps easier. “Swiping to the left from the idle/watch screen will bring up a list of your apps. Swiping left again will show you contacts. Swiping left a third time shows a list of actions like ‘Take a note’ or ‘Set a timer’,” reports TechCrunch. You can see how easy it is below.
3. Emoji Drawings: To quickly respond to a notification or to like a comment, you can now draw your own emoji on the watch’s face. Android Wear will try to guess which emoji you’ve drawn and then offers it up as a response. Just another way to efficiently and easily respond to friends, family and notifications.
4. Always On Apps: If you want a particular app to stay “on” while you’re doing a specific activity, like yoga/running/walking, the new update allows apps to remain on the watch face while they are open. Android smart watches can tell when your eyes are looking at the watch face, and the app will dim to a “more monochromatic tone” when you look away. Not sure how this could affect battery life, though.
5. Wi-Fi Support: Probably one of the most important updates to Android Wear is the ability to turn on the WiFi chip that is already built within most Android smart watches. Turning this chip on allows you to connect your watch to a WiFi network and not have your smartphone so near you all the time. This is a big one since the smart watch is intended to be an extension of one’s smart phone and not necessarily a replacement. Just make sure you’ve paid your phone’s data plan so that your Android Wear watch’s notifications, texts, and emails can work while your phone is far away.
Google expects this second major update to be released to all Android smart watches in the next few weeks, which “times” perfectly to its biggest competition to date, the Apple Watch.