Android Wear getting major update to take on Apple Watch

  • AFP
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2015 12:46 IST

Google announced on Monday major updates for its Android Wear software for smartwatches in a bid to increase usability and access to a range of information and apps right on one's wrist.

The slew of new features include always-on modes to provide useful information such as locations on a map or lists -- all available to the eye without turning on the screen -- increased Wi-Fi function, extra usability gestures and the ability to draw emojis, according to the official Google Blog.

But that doesn't mean drawing skills are necessarily a prerequisite. The new function allows users to respond to a message by drawing a picture -- e.g., a smiley face or thumbs up -- and Android Wear translates the picture into a corresponding emoji using a new handwriting recognition technology launched by Google last week.

All seven Android Wear watches will have access to the update over the next few weeks, starting with the soon-to-be-released LG Watch Urbane.

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