What you need to know
- Google announces several new features and updates coming to Wear OS smartwatches.
- Google Messages adds support for audio messages, which is "starting to roll out" over the next few weeks.
- Google Maps on Wear OS will show some details about places, such as operating hours and ratings.
- Wallet adds support for several more countries worldwide, including Argentina and Colombia.
Along with the new Android feature drop that was announced on Tuesday, Google is also highlighting some new and recent updates to Wear OS that users can look forward to.
Among them is the ability to record and send audio messages with the Google Messages app. Doing so involves hitting the microphone icon in a message, where you'll be presented with the option to send a voice message or use voice to text. Sending a voice message will bring up a basic recording screen that would automatically start, with a progress bar filling the edges of the display.
In this screen, you can either back out or send the message, with seemingly no way to review your recording beforehand.
Some reports indicate that you can't playback the recordings from the watch and that it would prompt you to use your phone to listen. However, while testing on my Galaxy Watch 5, the watch allows me to play back my recordings directly from the watch, so this particular aspect of the feature may not be fully available to everyone. So far, the audio recording feature has only appeared on one of my Wear OS watches, and Google says the feature should arrive "over the next few weeks."
In addition to voice messages, Google Assistant is also available in additional languages, including Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Polish, and more.
Google Wallet on Wear OS is now supported in even more countries and regions, including Albania, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Isle of Man, Greenland, Faroe Islands, and San Marino.
Google also highlights how Maps can now show basic details of places you select on the app. This includes opening and closing hours as well as ratings. "You can also find noteworthy places around you, such as coffee shops or grocery stores, either by searching or tapping on pins on the map."
Other highlights include previously announced features and updates, like the latest Google Keep tile, new Spotify tiles, adding transit passes to Wear OS, and more. You can check out the full blog post here.
The new Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is the latest Wear OS smartwatch, equipped with a faster new chip, larger displays, bigger batteries, and more RAM to get things done. Not to mention it has some impressive health and fitness features.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.