Google Brings Interactive Watch Faces And Built-In Google Translate Support To Android Wear

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Android Wear’s watch faces are getting a bit more interesting today. Developers were always able to display a lot of information on their watch faces, but users couldn’t interact with it. Starting today, however, you’ll be able to install interactive watch faces that allow you to pull up more information and launch apps with a tap right from the watch face (and developers will be able to build them).

Also new in this update is built-in support for Google Translate, which will work even if you don’t have Google Translate on your phone.

Google Translate on Android Wear supports 44 languages and works with the built-in microphone in your watch. You simply speak into the watch, flip your wrist, and out comes the translation. Translate will automatically recognize what languages are being spoken.

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For the new watch faces, Google already worked with a number of developers to test this new functionality.

BITSThe Bits watch face, for example, shows small circles with the number of unread emails, local temperature, date and other information around the center of the screen. When you tap on any of these, the watch face changes and brings these circles into focus. That’s significantly easier than having to swipe through a bunch of Google Now notifications on your watch.

Google also worked with Under Armour to build an interactive fitness-centric watch face, and the Together watch face is perfect for all you lovebirds out there who want to share photos and emojis with your partners.

In total, the Google Play store currently features just over 20 interactive watch faces.

image00This update to Android Wear is now rolling out as an over-the-air update to all Android Wear watches (except to my Moto 360, because after less than a year, it can’t hold a charge anymore). This update also brings Wi-Fi support to the LG G Watch R.

It’s worth noting that it looks like the new Samsung Gear S2, which the company teased earlier this week, looks like it will feature similarly interactive watch faces, too. The teaser video showed a few highly interactive watch faces and at the time, the assumption was that it would have to run Tizen and not Android Wear, simply because those kinds of watch faces weren’t possible with Android Wear.