Android Wear‘s next update will include several new features including Wi-Fi support and gesture controls for smartwatches. The news comes from The Verge, which says that its source is in the know regarding Android Wear’s road map. Wi-Fi support is the most important part of the update, as it allows Android Wear devices to use Internet features even if a Bluetooth connection isn’t available, essentially freeing Android Wear devices from being linked to a smartphone. Most Android Wear devices already have Wi-Fi built-in, allowing it to be enabled with this update.
The update will also bring in gesture controls, one of which will be the ability to flip through notifications and Google Now cards with a flick of the wrist. Menus and contacts will also have improved access that will make it easier and more direct to access them. Details on this change aren’t clear, but it will likely be a minor tweak to the UI.
This update will prove to be an important one for Android Wear. With the Apple Watch announced yesterday, Android Wear devices face new competition. While Android Wear is in a good place, it helps that it’s gaining important new features such as Wi-Fi support. The ability to use a smartwatch without a Bluetooth connection makes it far more appealing, as it removes the need to carry two devices at all times.
There’s no word on when the update will arrive, but we’ll keep you posted.