WhatsApp has officially released an app for Wear OS, allowing beta testers to send messages and voice texts from their wrist.
The functionality was added during ‘version 22.214.171.124’ of the beta Android app. The Wear OS app is supported on the Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch 5.
The new beta version also hints that WhatsApp users on Android may soon be able to edit their previously sent messages, with clues showing that a similar feature has already appeared in the iOS beta app.
If this sounds like old news, you might be thinking about the smartwatch app available for Android Wear prior to its Wear OS rebrand. That app was eventually discontinued due to a lack of adoption, and ever since, Wear OS users’ only option to respond to WhatsApp messages came from their smartwatch notifications. Users also have not been able to send messages through the app directly from their smartwatch.
Now, with the in-progress Wear OS app, users can browse recent chats, reply using text or voice and even scroll through their message history. Available tiles and complications provide the ability to access contacts, send voice messages and see how many unread messages a user has.
There’s currently no option to start a new chat from the Wear OS application.
The Wear OS app can be set up by entering an eight-digit code provided by the users’ watch into the smartphone app. WhatsApp’s multi-device support ensures that messages accessed from a smartwatch will most likely still be protected via end-to-end encryption, as reported by WABetaInfo.
Although most users likely won’t use the Wear OS app as their primary source of WhatsApp messaging, the possibility of a quick wrist glance to see who messaged you or firing off a brief voice message makes the expansion worthwhile.
Users looking to sign up for the Android beta testing can do so here.
WhatsApp has also recently introduced a setting that silences calls from unknown numbers.