The latest version of Google’s smartwatch operating system is the first to support cellular connectivity. Google already told us that much. But it turns out there’s a lot more to Android 1.4.
It’s also the first version of Android Wear to be based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow , it adds support for new wrist gestures, and it also adds support for watches with built-in speakers.
Speaker support means you’ll be able to answer and make phone calls from your watch without using a Bluetooth headset. But you can also dive into the Settings menu, open the Accessibility options, and turn on Audio Feedback to have your watch read the time out loud whenever you wake the watch.
Android Wear can also read SMS messages and notification cards aloud.
Google says Audio Feedback only works on watches with speakers, which is kind of obvious. But once it’s turned on, you can use the feature with Bluetooth headphones as well. One thing that’s a little less obvious: Google says the only Android Wear watch with a speaker right now is the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE… even though we know the Huawei Watch also has a speaker tucked inside the case.
Hopefully audio features will be enabled for that watch when if and when it received an Android Wear 1.4 update.
Earlier this year Google added support for a gesture that lets you flick your wrist to scroll through notification cards. Now there are new gestures that let you move your wrist in different ways to view more details, go back, open the apps menu or settings menu, or return to the watch face.