While there is currently no WhatsApp app for Wear OS, watch wearers have been able to accept WhatsApp voice calls indirectly with an “Answer call on phone” option, which would promptly let you continue the conversation on your handset. However, the newest update to the Beta version of WhatsApp on the Play Store now allows you to fully answer and continue the call from your wrist without having to hand it off to your phone.
This new feature was spotted by u/jotta_morales_b on Reddit and then reported on by 9to5Google, who provided a screenshot showing a Wear OS watch screen with an incoming Whatsapp voice call, made obvious by the app’s logo and name shown directly below the phone number. This new capability came about after updating the Android app to version 220.127.116.11; however, some have also reported the same results on version 18.104.22.168. The only differentiating factor seems to be which version of the Samsung Galaxy Watch the user owns — Galaxy Watch 4 or 5 — since those two are the most popular smartwatches that currently run Wear OS 3.
However, as the screenshot above shows how the incoming call appears when the watch is paired with a Samsung phone, those who have a watch paired with a Pixel 6 phone are also benefiting from this update. According to 9to5, for Pixel 6 owners, the incoming call appears as a native call on the watch without any WhatsApp branding, which made this feature hard to spot. It should be noted that this feature doesn’t add the ability to initiate WhatsApp voice calls from your smartwatch, only to answer incoming ones.
Although this is, for now, a one-way solution, it’s encouraging to see new app developments taking place for Wear OS 3. Just recently, the Google Keep app gained a tile with a new update, so this isn’t a one-off incident. Subsequently, it makes me feel like Wear OS is being taken seriously, unlike the stagnant state it was in before. Perhaps the fact that Wear OS has matured and runs better than ever on newer hardware has something to do with it, or maybe — and go with me on this one — the announcement of the Pixel Watch has proven to app developers that this isn’t an experiment anymore and Wear OS now means business.