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. The software has been available in Beta since May, but it is now official provided you have a Wear OS 3 smartwatch.

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. To be more precise, it has started rolling out today – a week before the Samsung Unpacked event.

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. During installation you will be asked to input an eight-digit code from the smartwatch into the phone app. Just make sure that the Android phone and smartwatch are both running on the latest firmware. Otherwise you may experience issues.

Whatsapp wear os

As you’d expect, the software also works via cellular if you have a LTE-capable Wear OS 3 watch. It’s worth noting, though, that the option to make phone-free calls from the wrist is not currently available. But more features are anticipated to be added as the app’s development moves forward.

Embracing the future of smartwatch communication

The addition of WhatsApp to Wear OS is a significant development for the platform. Particularly following the release of Wear OS 3, which was designed to draw in more third-party developers.

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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