The stable release of Android Wear 2.0 is finally here, as per Google’s latest word. The tech giant has been testing the software in-depth for many months following the official announcement that took place back at Google I/O in May of 2016. After experiencing troubles with the software that later forced an extended delay to its arrival, the software is now ready for the prime time, and will soon make its over to select Android Wear offerings. Here’s everything you need to know.
Android Wear 2.0 is the platform’s first major overall. It’s interesting to see that smartwatches need only one major update every three years, whereas smartphones get one on a near annual basis. The list of improvements, added features and support is extensive, which is why we’ve allowed Google to do the better part in explaining it.
Most of the features present in the software are familiar from earlier developer previews. However, it’s free of most bugs and endured some further polishing. Some of the major additions users will get with Android Wear 2.0 include the Google Assistant, Android Pay, iOS support, standalone apps, new watch faces, a full Play Store, new interactive notifications, and third-party keyboard support. Fixed are lots of bugs and problems that were found to be present in the original Android Wear release, making this one far more smooth and fluent to use. Believe us when we say it, you’ll enjoy the experience a lot more. The below comes straight from Google.
More personalized, helpful watch faces
You can now personalize your Android Wear always-on watch face with information and actions from your favorite apps. Simply glance at your wrist to check your next appointment, stock performance, progress on fitness goals, or whatever is important to you. A quick tap on your watch face lets you instantly order an Uber ride, start a workout, or get in touch with your significant other. Interested in different info throughout the day? Just swipe to switch your watch face as you go from the office to the gym to dinner with friends and home again.
Better ways to work out
Google Fit, the pre-installed fitness app on most Android Wear watches, now lets you track your pace, distance, calories burned and heart rate* as you’re walking, running or cycling. You can also measure weight-lifting reps, in addition to push-ups, sit-ups and squats. When you work out with a cellular-connected Android Wear watch, you can stay in touch with calls and messages, stream tunes from Google Play Music and still use your favorite apps right on your watch.
New ways to use apps
With Android Wear 2.0, you can choose which apps you want on your watch and download them directly from the new on-watch Google Play Store. If your watch has a cellular connection, you can make calls and use your watch apps no matter where your phone is. Whether you use an Android phone or iPhone, you’ll be able to use apps built for Android Wear 2.0, like AccuWeather, Android Pay*, Bring!, Foursquare, Google Fit, Google Messenger, Google Play Music, Lifesum, Robinhood, Runkeeper, Runtastic, Strava, Telegram, Uber and many more.
More ways to respond to messages
Now it’s easier than ever to read and respond to a message right from your watch. When you receive a message, you can expand the notification and tap to respond by dictating, typing or handwriting your answer, or drawing an emoji. Try it out on apps like Facebook Messenger, Glide, Google Messenger, Hangouts, Telegram or WhatsApp. Need to respond quickly and discreetly? Use Smart Reply, which instantly and intelligently suggests different responses based on the message you received.
The Google Assistant on your wrist
Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant to your wrist, so you can find answers and get things done—hands free. Ask your Google Assistant about the weather or remind yourself to bring an umbrella. Make a restaurant reservation or navigate to work. You can even update your shopping list right from your wrist. To ask for help, just hold down the power button on your watch or say “Ok Google.” The Google Assistant is available in English and German on Android Wear and will be available in other languages in the coming months.
The first-ever smartwatches made by Google in collaboration with LG, are the first that will release with the Android Wear 2.0 software pre-loaded. They are, the Watch Sport and Watch Style. We recently passed along full details on them, so be sure to hit up the post here. Google also confirmed with the release, older generation smartwatches that will receive the Android Wear 2.0 update over-the-air. So in case you’re wondering whether or not you’ll receive the update on your Android Wear smartwatch, here you go.
Please note that some features require hardware sensors which are not available on all Android Wear smartwatches. Smartwatches getting Android Wear 2.0 include:
ASUS ZenWatch 2 & 3, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Casio PRO TREK Smart, Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Wander, Huawei Watch, LG G Watch R, LG Watch Urbane & 2nd Edition LTE, Michael Kors Access Smartwatches, Moto 360 2nd Gen, Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 Sport, New Balance RunIQ, Nixon Mission, Polar M600 and TAG Heuer Connected.
Android Wear 2.0 will be made available to the above listed smartwatches in the coming weeks. If your device is not listed, you won’t be getting the update nor any future updates.
The smartwatch market had a rough last year due to falling sales. Motorola and others announced that they might go away with the platform and instead create software of their own. This lead many into doubting the future of Google’s Android Wear platform. All of a sudden, it now seems that hope has been revived for a comeback in 2017 as Google seems to be taking Wear more seriously. The many updates and improvements made in Android Wear 2.0 over such an expanded period of time indicate that the company is willing to forth its very best attempt. In fact, companies have taken notice. Several Android Wear smartwatches have already been announced this year, including one’s from Casio, New Balance, LG, TAG Heuer, and others. We hope the support continues.
Learn more about Android Wear 2.0 and what’s included in the brief video below.
For more in-depth details on Android Wear 2.0 or Google’s new pair of smartwatches, hit up the source link at the bottom of this post. We’ll update you shall we discover anything unstated. You can count on us to bring you it all!
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SOURCE [Google Keyword]