Audio output on smartwatches is a pretty contentious point. Some users are more than happy with the level of notifications they enjoy now, and aren’t particularly looking forward to a future where every app on your watch is constantly beeping at you. Others welcome the possibilities audio output affords, and manufacturers sure seem to be on their side. Earlier this year, we saw Android Wear manufacturers start building speakers into their wearables, even if support wasn’t yet present on the software side. We’ve already seen progress in that direction on the platform level, and now the final pieces are falling into place, as at least one company gets ready to flip the switch and give a voice to its own smartwatch.
We first spotted the Huawei Watch’s speaker in a mid-September teardown, and at the time it seemed wholly dormant. But now at least one user testing pre-release Huawei Watch software has seen his smartwatch’s speaker suddenly activated, following the delivery of an OTA update last night.
That support arrived alongside a new test build of Android 1.4, but so far we’ve yet to see any video evidence of speaker output in action – right now, all we have is this report from the tester.
He indicates that speaker output seems to work just fine, offering text-to-speech capabilities and supporting ringtones. That leave the bigger question now as to when Huawei might be ready to seed this update to Huawei Watch users everywhere. We haven’t heard anything in the nature of an ETA just yet, but we’ll keep our ears open. Who knows; maybe Huawei will announce the arrival of speaker support at CES next week.