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

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!