Wearable Tech World Feature Article
September 30, 2015

Android Wear Joins Apple Watch with Skype Capability

It looks like video chatting while on the go is about to get a little easier for Android Watch users. Microsoft announced yesterday that the latest update to their Android Skype software, version 6.4, will include an app making Skype compatible with Android Wear devices. This is a welcome development for Android and its users, who were looking to level the playing field with Apple (the Apple Watch already has a Skype application).

The Skype integration into Android Wear takes many of the functions that give users notifications and integrates them into the Skype platform. Message and call notifications are pushed to the smart watch, allowing the wearer to see them quickly and easily.

For simple text-based messages, users can respond directly from the watch itself, by using the watch’s microphone to dictate their reply. They can also choose from a menu of standard, previously written responses (think simple phrases like, “Be right there!” or “Call you back soon”).

Users can also use the Android Wear to answer or decline incoming voice and video calls. Alerts representing an incoming call will also be pushed to the wearer’s phone, allowing them to quickly see who is calling. It is important to note, however, that users will not be able to talk or video chat through the watch: once a call is accepted, users will still need to use their smartphones to communicate.

Finally, the Skype integration into the Android Wear comes with one more entertaining feature: integrated emojis. In addition to simply dictating text responses to messages, users can incorporate the typical Skype emojis simply by drawing them on the face of their Android Wear watches. This fun new feature will surely be enjoyed by those who are fans of the ability to draw messages between smart watch users.

Skype bringing their features to Android Wear is a major victory for the smart watch. The thing that makes these wearables so popular is their compatibility with all the apps we already use on our smartphones. Adding an app as popular as Skype is a big win for Android.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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