Android Wear update lets your watch give you backchat

Google finally switches on speakers - assuming your watch has one

Pretty soon you won't need to use your phone at all if you're wearing an Android smartwatch - Google just flipped a switch to allow voice calls right from your wrist.

Any Android Wear smartwatch with a built in speaker will be able to take calls from a phone over Bluetooth and play them out loud. It's something the Apple Watch has had since launch, so it's good to see Google catching up.

Right now that's limited to the Huawei watch and Asus ZenWatch 2, but expect any watches announced in two weeks' time at MWC to have internal speakers as well.

The v1.4 update also lets you send voice messages as replies to incoming notifications in suported apps. Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Viber and WeChat have all made the initial list, but expect more apps to get on board soon.

Expect to see Android Wear owners waving their wrists around a lot more after the update lands, too. Three new gesture controls should make it easier to get around the menus, even if they make you look a bit dumb while you're doing them.

“Push” and “Lift” motions move forwards or backwards through menus by moving your arm up or down from a resting position, and a “shake” jumps back to the watch face.

Although it’s not confirmed, Google is planning on adding a tool that will let you practice each gesture, so you don’t have to learn by flailing your hand around until you get it right.

The update should be launching in the next few weeks for all Android Wear watches, whether yours has a speaker in it or not.