Android Wear update brings Google Translate to your wrist

The update also will also let developers build interactive watch faces that can convey information without requiring a person to open an app

Google Translate is coming to Android Wear, courtesy of an update to the wearable OS that will also bring interactive watch faces to users.

Google Translate, which will be a native feature of the OS, will work with 44 languages and use a watch's built-in microphone. To use the feature, people speak into the watch and flip their wrist to display the translation to another person.

When that person replies in a foreign language, Android Wear users flip their wrist to view the message translated into the language they speak. Google Translate will automatically recognize what languages are being spoken, the company said Thursday.

Google added that users don't need to have the Google Translate app on their phones to use it on an Android Wear device. Also, this feature will work even if users don't have their phone nearby, as long as they are connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Google Translate for Android Wear Google
Google Translate is coming to Android Wear, allowing people to translate conversations by speaking into their smartwatch.

With interactive watch faces, people will be able to view information from an app without having to open it. For example, by tapping on a watch face from athletic clothing maker Under Armour, people can see how how many calories they've burned and how many steps they've taken.

Android Wear Under Armour interactive watch face Google
With Android Wear interactive watch faces, like this one from Under Armour, people can view app information by tapping on the watch's screen.

The Bit watch face, from UsTwo Studio, displays information like weather, step counts, emails alerts and calendar notifications in circles arranged around an analog-looking clock in the face's center. Tapping on one of these circles moves it to the center of the face and expands it to show more information.

So far, there are 21 interactive watch faces available in the Google Play store. The update is coming to all Android Wear watches in the coming weeks, Google said, without giving a timeline.

Google cautioned developers to wait until the update is completely rolled out before adding interactive watch faces to their apps. The update also brings Wi-Fi capabilities to the LG G Watch R.

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Fred O'Connor

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