Android Wear update brings speaker support, new gestures, and voice features to messaging apps

The new features could make it more likely you'll leave your phone in your pocket next time you take a call or respond to a text.

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Admit it: you’ve always wanted to take phone calls with your watch. You finally can with a new update to Android Wear that supports speaker hardware in wristwear like the Huawei Watch and Asus ZenWatch 2.

Google says you’ll be able to conduct calls through a Bluetooth connection to your phone on Wear watches that have build-in speakers.

Also included in the update is deeper integration with over-the-top messaging services. You'll be able to send messages using only your voice through apps like Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp.

More gestures might make it easier to navigate through the different apps and functions available on your watch. You can now expand a card, pull up your app list, or return home with a push, lift, or shake. Such actions are welcome given the challenge in always having two hands free while on the go.

Why this matters: The new features make Android Wear a more capable companion for communication. The original vision of Android Wear is that it will allow you to leave your phone in your pocket or purse more often since it can take calls, find items on a map, and contact friends. As Android Wear gets more powerful, those skeptical of putting a computer on their wrist might be willing to give the idea a second though.

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