Without audio clips, texting on a smartwatch is useless to me

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Rita L. Khuri / Android Authority

There are three reasons why I use a smartwatch: to get step-by-step instructions on my wrist when moving to a new place, to control my music without unlocking my phone, and to receive notifications of new messages. My Galaxy Watch 4 ⁠— and Wear OS watches in general বেশ are quite good at handling the first two tasks, but towards the end it is almost unusual. Messaging on a Wear OS smartwatch is rarely the same, and one indication of this is the lack of voice messaging support.

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Messaging nowadays is much richer and more complex than simple text-only blurb sending. We share photos and videos; We intersect our text with emojis; We rely on stickers and GIFs to show us exactly how we feel. And for millions of users, especially those living in non-English-speaking countries, sending messages for audio clips is also easy.

Seven billion voice messages are sent to WhatsApp every day. This is just a platform.

Speech is faster than typing, less error-prone than multilingual keyboards or transliteration, and it makes your voice clearer than any impersonal character on the screen. For that reason and for many others, voice notes have become widely accepted. This one metric tells you the whole story: WhatsApp says Seven billion voice messages are sent every day On its platform – it’s a billion with a billion. Imagine the number when all the messaging apps are combined.

samsung galaxy watch 4 voice message from whatsapp

Rita L. Khuri / Android Authority

But despite their popularity, voice notes are still not supported by Google’s smartwatch platform. It cannot return them when you receive them and cannot record them for sending. In that case, it’s “smart” like a normal fitness tracker with on-screen notifications. Even if a Wear OS smartwatch has a speaker and a microphone (for example, Galaxy Watch 4), even if it is connected to a Bluetooth headset, it does not support audio clips. This is the official Google messaging app and any third-party messenger that sends notifications to your wrist, such as WhatsApp and Telegram.

Even if a Wear OS smartwatch has a speaker and a microphone, it cannot play or record voice messages.

At least five times out of ten, when my Watch 4 vibrates, I look at it and see that I have received a “voice message” from a friend or relative. Tap that does nothing. I need to unlock my phone to hear and reply to messages. If my watch is as useless as pinging notifications half the time, and I have to constantly pull out my phone, I may not wear the watch in the beginning.

View 4 voice messages from Samsung Galaxy Telegram

Rita L. Khuri / Android Authority

Coherence and distrust ruin the whole messaging experience for me. It’s bad enough that I’m used to ignoring my wrist notifications because they’re adding time, not shaving. It’s faster to go directly to my phone.

Inconsistencies ruin the entire smartwatch messaging experience. It’s faster to go directly to my phone.

This is why most days, when I work from home, I rarely bother to wear my watch. My media can be controlled from my computer or Google Home speaker, and I don’t need step-by-step instructions. If Google supports it, texting will be enough for me to wear the watch. By apple, So what’s the hold up, Googz? We can only hope that we get it with the upcoming Pixel Watch.

How important is voice message support to smartwatches?

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