WhatsApp for Wear OS has finally rolled out after it was announced at Google I/O 2023. It’s now available to download from the Play Store.
As we reported around I/O 2023, the app has been in beta since May, but it’s now available for anyone to download – and will be a must-have for Wear OS smartwatch users. However, it’s limited to those running Wear OS 3 smartwatches.
So how does it work?
WhatsApp for Wear OS enables users to read and receive messages, as well as reply using voice control.
While support for WhatsApp was previously limited to notifications, the new app helps deliver a much fuller experience. And what’s more, if you have an LTE-enabled Wear OS smartwatch, you’ll also be able to do this completely untethered.
The app’s main screen mimics the phone version, featuring a list of your most recent chats. If you scroll down, you also have the option to load more from your stream, check settings, and 'Open on phone'.
If you open a recent conversation or group chat, you'll be able to view messages, reply using the app's voice message function, dictate messages, or type something out through the keyboard.
The WhatsApp app can also be set up as a complication on a watch face and show the number of unread messages. And there’s a Wear OS Tile available, allowing users to quickly jump into their recent contacts or record a voice message.
The announcement of the rollout of the WhatsApp Wear OS app is clearly timed around the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 – which is expected to run the new version of Wear OS 4.
Google is showing that after years of stagnation in Wear OS, it means business as a wearable platform. It's also key to remember that there's still no official WhatsApp app for watchOS.
It’s taken time for Wear OS to get up to standard. The Galaxy Watch 4 was the first to run Wear OS 3 – and the incoming Watch 6 will run Wear OS 4. And we’re *still* waiting for watches that were promised the Wear OS 3 update to get the software.
But there’s momentum behind the platform at long last – and this is just one piece of the puzzle.
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