Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

Android Wear can do a whole lot more using your wrist

That big Android Wear update isn't just about allowing cellular data on smartwatches -- it's also really helpful if you don't have a hand free. Google has quietly revealed that Android Wear 1.4 has a ton of new wrist gestures beyond the usual flicks to navigate cards. You can take action on a card by pushing your arm down, for instance, or go back to your watch face by wriggling your wrist. You're probably going to look silly if you use nothing but wrist gestures, but this beats dropping a bag (or freezing your hands) just to touch your watch for a brief moment.

There's more: the 1.4 update also brings audio feedback. That's necessary for the promised calling support, of course, but it also opens the door to spoken alerts, such as notifications or the time. Only a handful of watches have the necessary speakers (the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, ASUS ZenWatch 2 and Huawei Watch are the biggest examples), so don't expect to hear anything on your wristwear. Even if you don't get audio, though, you'll likely want to upgrade your Android watch if you can.