What you need to know
- WhatsApp's latest beta build brings voice calling support to Wear OS 3 smartwatches.
- The new feature lets you answer calls from supported wearable devices.
- However, the WhatsApp voice call interface appears to be limited to watches paired with Galaxy phones.
Your Wear OS smartwatch currently does not allow you to answer an incoming WhatsApp call, let alone notify you of one, but this appears to be changing, as evidenced by WhatsApp's latest beta build.
As spotted by a Reddit user, WhatsApp's new beta release (version 126.96.36.199) adds voice calling support to Wear OS 3 smartwatches. The feature is enabled by default in the latest beta, but it's only a one-way capability. This means you can only pick up calls on your wrist, but the ability to initiate WhatsApp calls with your wearable device is missing.
WhatsApp hasn't made any official announcement about the new capability. Android Central has reached out to the company for comment and will update this article when we hear back.
For the time being, it appears that you'll only be able to receive calls on some of the best Android smartwatches running Wear OS 3, including the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 5 series, as well as the Montblanc Summit 3. The WhatsApp logo appears under the contact information for an incoming call, setting it apart from a regular voice call.
However, the incoming call interface for each device appears to have some visual differences. For example, the WhatsApp logo shows up only when a Galaxy Watch model is paired with a Samsung phone. According to 9to5Google, this does not occur when a similar smartwatch is paired with a third-party handset, such as the Google Pixel 6.
Regardless of these differences, the ability to answer WhatsApp voice calls from your wrist is the same for all supported smartwatches. While there's no way to make a WhatsApp call from your smartwatch, the new capability is a step in the right direction, solving one of the frustrating limitations with wearable devices.
The Galaxy Watch 5 does not include any "mind-blowing" new features. It's a great companion for your Samsung phone, but if you use any other Android phone, you'll miss out on some features. Still, this is the smartwatch to get until the competition heats up.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.