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Several Android Wear updates heading our way this year, will bring new features like support for built-in GPS

According to two Google engineers, Android Wear will receive several important updates this year allowing it to better interact with Bluetooth devices and bringing built-in support for GPS.
September 2, 2014
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We’ve said it more than once: the Android Wear platform is still very much in its infancy, and will continue to evolve with time. In a new interview with CNET, Google’s engineering director David Singleton and VP of engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer revealed that they plan to have several updates roll out for the platform this year, including a smaller update dealing with improving navigation and voice control features as soon as next week.

While the Google execs didn’t get into specifics on next week’s update, they did talk a bit about what the future will bring. For one thing, they reiterated that we’ll see the 3rd party watch face API soon. For another, they plan to bring changes that will allow Wear devices to offer built-in GPS and Google also plans to give the platform the ability to work with other Bluetooth devices in unique ways.

The addition of on-board GPS means that future Android Wear watches may be able to work with fitness apps and navigation tools without the need to bring your smartphone along with you. As for Bluetooth? Not a lot is revealed here, though they did mention things like pairing a Bluetooth headset directly to your watch, instead of requiring a smartphone. Better Bluetooth interaction could really open up tons of potential use cases, though.

Both of these changes hint at a future where we might have Android Wear devices that are capable of working better in a stand-alone nature, like the Gear S, instead of just as companion device. It is also clear that Google has very active ambitions revolving around Android Wear and will continue to aggressively improve the platform into the foreseeable future.