WhatsApp has released an official app for Wear OS, 9to5Google reports, giving beta testers of its Android app the ability to send text and voice messages from their wrist. The functionality was added with version 126.96.36.199 of the beta Android app, which also reportedly contains hints that the service might soon let Android users edit previously sent messages. The Wear OS app reportedly supports smartwatches including the Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch 5, 9to5Google notes.
Android Police notes that the Meta-owned messaging service previously offered a smartwatch app for Android Wear prior to its Wear OS rebrand, but says that it was eventually discontinued due to a lack of adoption. Since then, Wear OS users have only been able to respond to WhatsApp messages via their smartwatch notifications — they haven’t been able to send messages whenever they please.
A neat option for sending messages in a hurry
That changes with the Wear OS app, which lets users browse recent chats, scroll through message histories, and reply using text or voice. There are a couple of tiles available including one to access contacts and one for voice messages, and a complication showing the number of unread messages sitting in your WhatsApp inbox. Android Police notes that although you can send messages to any existing conversations, there’s currently no option to start a new chat from the Wear OS app if you’ve never sent a WhatsApp contact a message before.
Setting up the Wear OS app involves entering an eight-digit code from the watch into WhatsApp on your phone, and WABetaInfo notes that WhatsApp’s multi-device support means that messages accessed via a smartwatch should still be protected with end-to-end encryption.
I can’t imagine many people will be using Wear OS as their primary means of sending WhatsApp messages, but it’s a great option to have for those moments where you need to fire off a quick message from your wrist. If you want to join the Android beta, you can do so via this link.
This version of the Android app also offers hints that WhatsApp might soon let users edit sent messages, allowing them to clear up any typos or other mistakes that may have slipped through. WABetaInfo notes that similar hints have already appeared in the iOS app, and that the feature is already available to a limited number of beta testers of the web app. If the web app is anything to go by, messages will be editable for around 15 minutes after you send them.