Here's what's next for Google Android Wear watches

An updated companion app shows new features coming to Android Wear watches, adding a few functions similar to the Apple Watch.

Android Wear owners will gain several new features in a future firmware update, including interactive watch faces, an updated Weather app and a way to share information with others who have an Android Wear watch.

How do we know? Because Google has updated the companion app for Android phones that configures and works with the watches.

Android Police found that the Android Wear companion app is now at version 1.3, which preps watches for the new features once they get their firmware updates. The change log spells out what's new:

  • Interactive watch faces that respond to your touch
  • Together watch face to keep you connected to a friend
  • Weather app to see the forecast for the next 4 days
  • Translate app that lets you tilt your wrist to share a translation

Rumors of the first two Android Wear features made the rounds last month, with the former sounding a bit like Apple Watch complications.

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Developers should be able to officially add information or controls directly on a watch face once the firmware updates arrive.

This will make it easier to navigate through to different apps or screens right from the face. The Together feature is a twist on that idea, showing a particular data point on a friend or family member's Android Wear watch: You might see that your pal is exercising, is nearby your own location or is available for a call. Together is also akin to how Apple Watch contacts can directly share information.

The other two updates seem relatively minor by comparison, particularly since you can view a four-day forecast in the Google Now Weather card on Google-powered watches. Adding auto-rotation to the Translate app will make it easier to show a person speaking another language what you're trying to say.

If the updated Android Wear app doesn't show in the Google Play Store for you, you can download the file and manually install it here. Keep in mind, however, that until your Android Wear watch gets the required firmware update to add these features, you won't yet see them.


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