Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently unveiled the launch of the WhatsApp app for Wear OS, enabling users to initiate new conversations, reply to messages, and make VoIP calls directly from their smartwatches, without the need for their connected phones.
The app, which commenced its rollout worldwide, is designed to work seamlessly with smartwatches running Wear OS 3. It offers users the convenience of sending and receiving text and voice messages, along with emojis and quick replies, all from their wrists.
During Google’s developer-focused I/O conference held in May, the release of WhatsApp’s Wear OS app was announced. Initially, it was launched as a beta version and was eagerly awaited to be made available to the public soon after.
At the same I/O keynote, Google also introduced upgraded Wear OS apps from third-party companies like Spotify and Peloton. Additionally, they announced updates to their own apps, such as Google Home, Gmail, and Calendar, aiming to enhance the overall experience for Wear OS-based smartwatches.
In contrast to Wear OS, Apple’s watchOS currently lacks a standalone WhatsApp app. Consequently, Apple Watch users have a limited experience with the app, lacking the native option to send messages or make WhatsApp calls directly from the smartwatch. However, they can view incoming messages and respond to them using the Apple Watch’s screen if they have enabled appropriate notification settings on their paired iPhone. Despite this limitation, the Apple Watch continues to dominate the smartwatch market.
Google is determined to challenge the Apple Watch’s dominance by continuously improving Wear OS, welcoming new manufacturers to the platform, and introducing new apps and experiences. At the I/O keynote, Google declared Wear OS as the fastest-growing smartwatch platform globally, boasting five-fold growth since the release of Wear OS 3 in 2021.
To begin using WhatsApp on your Wear OS smartwatch running version 3 or above, follow these steps:
1. Ensure your smartwatch is sufficiently charged.
2. Open the Google Play Store on your smartwatch and search for WhatsApp. If the smartwatch is paired with your phone, find a way to download WhatsApp directly to the smartwatch.
3. After the download is complete, launch WhatsApp on your Wear OS smartwatch, and you will be presented with an eight-character code.
4. On your paired phone, you will receive a notification indicating that a new device is trying to link to your WhatsApp account.
5. Confirm that you want to pair the new watch. Enter the eight-character code displayed on your smartwatch into your phone’s WhatsApp app and tap “confirm” to establish the link.
6. Congratulations! Your smartwatch is now successfully linked to WhatsApp, and you can utilize the app directly from your Wear OS smartwatch.
7. Please be aware that if your smartwatch is a WiFi-only device, it will only receive messages when connected to WiFi.
It’s essential to note that currently, this feature is only available for Android users.
In conclusion, the launch of WhatsApp for Wear OS marks a significant step for Meta in enhancing the functionality of smartwatches and providing users with a more seamless communication experience. By enabling direct messaging and VoIP calls from the wrist, WhatsApp on Wear OS brings added convenience to users and presents a compelling alternative to other smartwatch platforms. With Google’s commitment to improving Wear OS and expanding its app ecosystem, the competition in the smartwatch market is sure to intensify, ultimately benefiting consumers with more innovative and feature-rich wearables.