Downloading the official WhatsApp app for your Wear OS smartwatch is the best way to view and reply to messages on the go.
WhatsApp has just released a brand new dedicated app for Wear OS 3 smartwatches, that transforms and elevates the WhatsApp experience.
In this guide, we'll explain how to use the app, what you can and can't do with it, and when we can expect the full version to roll out to all users.
How to use WhatsApp on Wear OS
After many years of waiting, the official Whatsapp Wear OS app has now been released.
While before you had to apply to be part of the beta program, now it's available from the Google Play store.
Just head there to grab the app and you're good to go. If you already have WhatsApp Messenger on your Android smartphone (which most people will) you'll be prompted to download the Wear OS version from the Play Store.
Next you have to link the two apps together.
Open the WhatsApp app on Wear OS and make sure your phone and watch are close together. Enter the eight-digit code showing on the watch into WhatsApp on your phone.
What you can do on WhatsApp for Wear OS
- View your most recent chats
- Reply to messages via voice, dictation, or typing
- Play back voice messages
- Send outgoing reactions
- Receive notifications and then reply directly from the app
- Prompt chats to open on your phone
- Answer and decline phone calls
- View images
- Mute chats
- Verify chat encryption details
- Adjust settings
- Install Tiles onto the carousel to quickly jump into the app
- View the number of unread messages from the watch face complication
- Use stickers
How to get WhatsApp notifications on Wear OS
If you have the WhatsApp Wear OS app downloaded, notifications are much richer than if they're just set to mirror your smartphone.
When you receive a message, it'll now be viewable in a long stream (as shown above) - and you'll have the option to open the app and reply from your wrist or open it on your phone.
In order to receive notifications in the first place, you'll need to ensure WhatsApp notifications are enabled by going to Settings > Apps and notifications > Notifications> Show All > WhatsApp > On.
Do Not Disturb will also need to be turned off.
What to do if WhatsApp on Wear OS isn't working
It's worth keeping in mind that experiencing the odd problem with WhatsApp on Wear OS isn't uncommon.
Follow this checklist to troubleshoot any problems. Covering off these basics should ensure your phone and the connected Wear OS smartwatch are receiving WhatsApp notifications.
- Check your phone's Bluetooth settings and ensure your Wear OS smartwatch is connected
- Check that you are logged into WhatsApp on your phone
- Ensure notifications are turned on for WhatsApp from your watch
- Turn off power-saving modes that limit notifications, such as Do Not Disturb
- In your phone's notification settings, check WhatsApp is set up to allow notifications
- Check that the software on your watch and the WhatsApp app on your phone is up to date
Alternative Wear OS WhatsApp apps
While the recent development of an official app means there's now less need for a third-party alternative, there are some enterprising options that have been filling the gap over the last few years.
One of the apps you can try out is called Informer, which requires a premium subscription to do things like listen to voice messages, accept video calls, and mute selected chats.
It's an app that will only work with Android phones and does support compatibility with the Samsung Galaxy Watch, among other Wear OS 3 watches.
The other big third-party solution is 'Messages for Wear OS', which also requires an Android phone to work, but is free to use. However, it's a full-featured solution that not only supports WhatsApp but also Facebook Messenger, Slack, Viber, Telegram, Line, and more, as well.
You'll also get the ability to view photos and videos you receive through WhatsApp, as well as the ability to look at hyperlinks, open links in a web browser, and even open YouTube links.
When you open the app on your Android phone, you'll be prompted to connect your WhatsApp account. Then, you simply have to download the same app to your Wear OS device.
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