Google has released an updated version of its Android Wear operating system for wearable devices, adding new voice and gesture controls.
The update was announced in a blog post by Krystal Higgins, user experience designer for Android Wear, who explained that the new features were designed to make it easier to use wearables without touch input.
"There are plenty of times when you’ve got your hands full but still need to stay on top of reminders, messages, and calls," she said. "That's why Android Wear includes things like voice actions and gestures. And today we’re expanding these hands-free options in a number of ways."
The first feature designed with this in mind is the ability to interact with Android Wear devices using wrist gestures, such as flicking your wrist to remove a notification from the home screen or return to the home screen from within an app.
The second update is the ability to listen to messages and make voice calls via speakers, as long as your wearable has a speaker component as featured on the Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2, 49mm version.
The last and perhaps most notable new feature is the ability to dictate messages using the speaker.
"Now you can also use your voice to send messages from apps like Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp. Running late for lunch? Just say 'OK Google, send a WhatsApp message to Nathan: I’ll be right there'," said Higgins.
She added that the update would be rolling out to all Android Wear watches "over the next few weeks".
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