WhatsApp coming to WearOS will change your Samsung Galaxy Watch – for better and worse

Be careful what you wish for: WhatsApp on your wrist could mean all-day distraction

Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Google)

While Facebook owner Meta is in the process of scrapping the Facebook Messenger app for Apple Watch, Meta is bringing one of its other messaging services to another smartwatch platform: WhatsApp is coming to the best smartwatches running Wear OS. The official app is currently in beta and should roll out to everybody in the summer.

There are a few things the app can't currently do, though. You can't start a new chat or remove an existing one, and you can't make voice or video calls or answer them. If you want to change your profile details you'll need to do that on your phone, and the same applies if you want to view your call history.

The app currently works on devices including the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and the Pixel Watch too.

Is the WhatsApp wear OS app worth having?

I think it is. At the moment you're limited to receiving notifications from the phone app on your smartwatch, which you can't interact with; essentially each notification is telling you to pick up your phone. 

With this app you can do a lot more. You can reply using text or with your voice, and you can browse through recent chats and your message history. There's also a watch face complication that can tell you how many unread messages you have. 

The downside to all of this is that if your WhatsApp is anything like mine, it's potentially a constant distraction: the groups I'm in are fairly small compared to other people's but even then they often burst into frenetic activity that keeps pinging my phone. So I'm pleased to see that the WhatsApp app for Wear OS also includes a really crucial feature for any kind of group messenger: a mute button.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).