Android Wear could be about to get a lot more autonomous with WiFi-enabling update
Delivering a smartwatch with its own internet connectivity is, to put it mildly, tricky. Besides worrying about excess battery consumption, you’ve got to convince users to sign up for one more line of cellular service – and if they’re already dropping several hundred dollars on an accessory, an ongoing fee just to get it online could stand to be a tough sell. Bluetooth tethering to our phones may be the best compromise we have right now, but Android Wear models may be about to do one better, as we get word that the next major Android Wear system software release could enable dormant WiFi radios.
If you’ve got an Android Wear model like the Sony SmartWatch 3 which contains WiFi hardware that’s just going unused at the moment, this update would allow your watch to get online independently of your phone, so long as you’re within range of an AP.
Beyond the WiFi connectivity, the update would also debut new gesture controls, allowing for wrist-flicks to replace on-screen swipes, and we hear of efforts to streamline the platform’s UI, especially when it comes to searching through apps and contacts.
What we don’t have is any firm ETA for when this new release might land – just a description of its features. But given the pending retail arrival of the Apple Watch, anything Google can do to draw attention to its own smartwatch platform in the near future sounds like a smart move.
Source: The Verge