Android Wear Marshmallow Update Brings Speaker Support, Message Dictation

Android Wear today is quite a different beast from when it landed nearly two years ago — thankfully, it’s been changed for the better thanks to steady improvements and feature additions that Google has bestowed onto the operating system made for smartwatches.

Today, Google is rolling out another big Android Wear update, which is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow at its core. The update brings the ability to send messages with your smartwatch using just your voice. A number of messaging services are supported including WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber and of course Google Hangouts. To send a message, you could for example say, “OK Google, send a Google Hangouts message to Paul: Hey man, answer your phone!”

android wear marshmallow

You can also navigate through the Android Wear UI using some new gestures that Google has included. You can scroll through cards by rotating your wrist to the left or right, “take action” on a card by holding your arm out in front of you and then quickly pushing down and you can even return to your watch face by extending your arm and shaking your fist around violently like a madman (or madwoman).

The last major addition only applies to the Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2, both of which include built-in speakers. You’ll be able to make and receive calls directly from your wrist. It’s also possible to to listen audio and video messages with supported apps like Glide.

The Marshmallow update for Android Wear will begin rolling out to all devices over the “next few weeks” so keep an eye for a notification tell you that’s ready to install on your device.