Android Wear adds Wi-Fi support and wrist gestures

Culture
Android smartwatches have a few new tricks that cannot be done on an Apple watch. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNet Update. [MUSIC] If you own a smartwatch running Android, soon you won't need to always have your side by your side to get alerts. Google is rolling out a few updates to Android Wear smartwatches. One of which is wi-fi support. If your Android watch is connected to a wi-fi network, you do not need to have your phone with you to get notifications, send messages, or use apps. Now for this work, your phone, wherever you left it, needs to be on and it needs to have a data connection. So for example, let's say you're at work and your work has wi-fi, but you accidentally left your phone at home. The watch can still get messages. Or if your gym has wi-fi you do not need to bring your phone with you to stay in touch with the world. That's not something the Apple Watch can do. To get messages on the Apple Watch, you need to have your phone with you or the phone at least needs to be somewhere nearby, on the same wi-fi network as your watch. Android watches have picked up a few other fun tricks. If your hands are full, you don't need to touch the screen to scroll through cards. You can just flick your wrist outward or inward, and if you set your screen to stay on, now apps can also stay on the screen. They just turn black and white when they're idle and that's helpful if you wanna keep your grocery shopping list on your wrist and you don't wanna keep opening up the app multiple times. Android also added a little feature for emojis. If you wanna respond to a text message with an emoji, you can use your finger to draw on the screen. And that means there's some Android engineer out there that had to practice drawing poo emoji's in various ways to teach the system poo doodles. What a job. The first watch to get these updates is the LG watch, Urbane. And we don't know when that model is even coming out yet, but LG is having an event next week on April 28th to show off it's next big phone, the LG G4. And maybe we'll also learn when that watch is gonna go on sale, and how much it'll cost. And in other software update news, it's not a good day to be the owner of the Wink Hub. The smart home router suddenly stopped working for some customers because the company neglected to update an expiring security certificate. The hub is like the brain that controls all the smart lights, switches and locks in a home, but this security flaw rendered machines useless and customers need to tinker with settings or requests to get a new hub in the mail. Corky, which partners with General Electric. Promotes it's Wink Hubs heavily at major retailers like Home Depot and Target, but now all sales have been suspended until they can fix the issue. Smart home systems like the Wink are known for being buggy, but this is a whole other level of bug. That's your tech news update and you can head over to cnet.com to follow me on Twitter to stay updated. [MUSIC] From our studios in New York, I am Bridgette Carrie

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