Android Wear companion app hints at volume control and other goodies

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Google has already announced that it will bring offline music playback and GPS support to Android Wear this year. But a teardown of the latest Wear companion app by Android Police hints at even more features to come.

For instance, it’s likely that Google will add remote volume controls when playing music from a paired smartphone. Currently, it’s possible to control music playback on the watch, but users still need to reach for their phones to turn the volume up and down.

Android Police also spotted signs of NFC support in the new version of the Google Play Service. While no current Android Wear watches include NFC, the feature could allow users to pair an NFC-equipped phone with the watch more easily. It could also pave the way for mobile payments through Google Wallet, but that’s just speculation.

The teardown turned up more code attributed to incoming calls, voice search and notification filtering. It’s too early to tell if any new features might be in store, but greater control over which notifications appear on the smartwatch has been a common feature request among reviewers.

An earlier report by Android Police claimed that the next big firmware update might drop on October 15. If you’re impatient, check out our list of third-party tweaks to make Android Wear better—including one for volume controls.

Why this matters: With the impending launch of the Apple Watch early next year, there are a lot of areas where Google’s platform could stand to improve. The teardown shows that Google is working on some of these areas ahead of a slew of new smartwatches from LGAsus, and Sony.

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