Wear OS smartwatches are getting a great free WhatsApp upgrade

The app is currently in beta testing, meaning users will soon be able to enjoy WhatsApp on their watch

Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Google)

When it comes to the best smartwatches, there are two main options. Either, you opt for an Apple Watch, or you plump for one of the many Wear OS-based smartwatches, like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 or the Google Pixel Watch.

For users of Wear OS devices, there's a great upgrade coming. WhatsApp has famously been missing from the operating system, but that could all be about to change, as details of beta testing for the app have emerged.

As reported by 9to5Google, the app works pretty much exactly as you'd expect it to. Conversations can be scrolled through, with replies possible with either an on-screen keyboard or a voice note.

There are also several prompts to open on your phone, perhaps owing to the easier keyboard formatting on a larger device. There are a trio of complications on offer, too. 

The standard complication offers a circular dial, which simply increases to show the number of unread messages a user has. The number is also displayed in the centre of the complication. Elsewhere, a WhatsApp Contacts tile allows users to jump straight to an individual conversation, while WhatsApp Voice Message allows you to instantly start an audio recording to send to a contact.

Personally, I think this is a great upgrade, and comes not a moment too soon. WhatsApp is a massively popular messaging client, and not having it available is a big mark against Wear OS devices.

Having it included will be a big improvement, and should make Android smartwatches a more compelling option against devices like the Apple Watch Series 8. There are no details of a public launch date right now, but the beta testing suggests it shouldn't be too far away. 

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.