WhatsApp takes a leap: messaging app now supports Wear OS

The official WhatsApp app now supports Wear OS, allowing users to access chats, send voice messages, and more directly from their wrist. You can sign up to join the beta program to explore the new features.

WhatsApp, a widely popular messaging service, has been around for over a decade now. The name itself is a clever play on the English phrase “what’s up.” Since its inception in 2009, the platform has experienced tremendous growth, with Facebook (now known as Meta) acquiring it in 2014. To date, WhatsApp has attracted more than 2 billion users across the globe, becoming an essential communication tool for many.

Despite its long-standing presence in the communication landscape, it is only now that WhatsApp has made its way over to Wear OS. The recent Android update has brought compatibility between Google’s smartwatch operating system and the beta version of the app.

A refreshing update for Wear OS platform

When the WhatsApp app is set up on a wear OS watch, the home screen looks similar to the one on a phone and lists recent chats. Users can access the ‘Open on phone’ option, check settings, and load more chats by scrolling down. They can also view messages and respond using the voice message feature in one-on-one or group conversations. Or they can dictate messages or type them using the keyboard.

What’s more, the platform provides a circular complication that can be incorporated into watch faces. It shows the number of unread messages.

Setting up the app is relatively simple. The software is currently only accessible to those who have registered for WhatsApp’s beta programme, and there is no official word on when a public version might go live. This is an important point to keep in mind. During installation you will be asked to input an eight-digit code from the smartwatch into the phone app.

Whatsapp wear os

Just make sure that the Android phone and smartwatch are both running on the latest firmware. Otherwise you may experience issues.

Even though the option to make phone-free calls from the wrist is not currently available in the Wear OS beta version of WhatsApp, more features are anticipated to be added as the app’s development moves forward. The next significant Wear OS update in the upcoming months may coincide with the app’s full rollout.

Early reports on the Beta software are that it works perfectly fine. The setup is easy but running the app is quite battery draining.

Embracing the future of smartwatch communication

The addition of WhatsApp to Wear OS is a significant development for the platform, especially following the release of Wear OS 3, which was designed to draw in more third-party developers. Hopefully it will not be long before we get a full public release of the software.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

Meta had not yet released a dedicated app for watchOS, the operating system for Apple Watches. However, there are some workarounds that will allow you to read and reply to messages. You can also pick and choose from about a dozen third-party apps for using WhatsApp on Apple’s flagship watch.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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