WhatsApp has released an official app for Wear OS, 9to5Google reports, giving beta testers of the Android app the ability to send text and voice messages from their wrist. The functionality was added with version 22.214.171.124 of the beta Android app, which also reportedly includes hints that the service will soon be able to let Android users edit previously sent messages. The Wear OS app will reportedly support smartwatches, including the Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch 5, 9to5Google notes.
android police notes that Meta’s messaging service previously offered a smartwatch app for Android Wear prior to the Wear OS rebrand, but says it was eventually discontinued due to lack of adoption. Since then, Wear OS users can only respond to WhatsApp messages through their smartwatch notifications – they can’t send messages whenever they want.
A convenient option for sending messages quickly
That changes with the Wear OS app, which lets users browse recent chats, browse message history, and reply with text or voice. There are a number of tiles available, including one for accessing contacts and one for voice messages, and a complication that shows the number of unread messages in your WhatsApp inbox. android police notes that while you can send messages to existing conversations, there’s currently no option to start a new chat from within the Wear OS app if you’ve never messaged a WhatsApp contact 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 through 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 way to send WhatsApp messages, but it’s a great option for those times when you need to fire off a quick message from your wrist. If you want to join the Android beta, you can do so at this link.
This version of the Android app also offers hints that WhatsApp may soon let users edit sent messages, clearing any typos or other errors 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 can be edited about 15 minutes after you send them.