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Google Rolls Out Biggest Android Wear Update [Wi-Fi, Hand-Drawn Emoji & Gestures]

Google has shipped its biggest yet update for its Android Wear platform, in a bid to counter the soon-to-be launched Apple Watch.
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Android Wear now gains Wi-Fi support which will allow users to leave their smartphones behind and still receive notifications on their wrist. Smartwatches running the software previously relied on bluetooth to transmit information between the device and a smartphone.
Wi-Fi support now extends that range considerably, and will work as long as both devices have an active connection. Many are already looking at this as a precursor for support for data (3G and LTE) bands on upcoming Android Wear devices, but that’s just a rumour at this point.
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Another addition is support for hand drawn emoji, which if not copied, is clearly inspired from the Apple Watch. The hand-drawn emoji feature apparently was thought up at a company hackathon alongside the handwriting input app which the company launched last week.
Hand gestures are another feature Google has built into the Android Wear software, allowing users to move up and down the card stack UI by flicking their wrist in the right direction. The update is thoughtful considering that the biggest part of navigating the Android Wear UI is moving up and down.
While Android Wear may have already lost out to the Apple Watch, Google is keeping the update pipeline squeaky clean to get them out to the public as soon as possible. Google is known for its prowess in growing platforms up fairly quickly, and that’s exactly what seems to be happening with Android Wear.

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