Of all the aggravations that I have with any smartwatch I’ve used, the lacking presence of WhatsApp on my wrist is chief among my complaints. Yes, I can get WhatsApp notifications on WearOS as long as my phone is near, but the minute Bluetooth is off or my phone isn’t within range, those notifications are long gone and I have no way of receiving or sending WhatsApp messages from my watch.
For me, this throws a huge wrench in the reason I bought an LTE-equipped watch, but most of that blame is on me. I didn’t consider the fact that – without a proper WhatsApp app for WearOS – there was really no way for messages to get to me when untethered from my phone. It’s been a bummer, for sure, and my dreams of leaving my phone behind for certain activities has evaporated in the reality of not having access to my most-used messaging app when my phone isn’t close.
An app is finally arriving
However, it looks like a beta version of the WearOS WhatsApp app is rolling out now. You can enter the beta program by following this link, and after you do so, you should get an app update notice and then have the ability to install the new WhatsApp app on your watch via the on-watch Play Store. I was able to enter the beta trial and get the update in the Play Store on my phone in about 5 minutes. Fun fact: I also installed the app on my watch from that same spot on my phone.
I’ll be running this through the paces over the next week or so and I’ll get back to you on how it all works at that point. For me, a quick access tile and true mobile messaging without the need of my phone nearby will make this basically perfect. With those things available, I can finally walk away from my phone for longer periods with only my watch on my wrist and know that I won’t be wildly out of the loop when I return. Here’s hoping it all works smoothly!