Android Wear 2.0 is coming to a smartwatch near you soon
Android Wear 2.0 is officially out in the open.
Google’s all-new wearable software promises a huge number of upgrades and improvements as the company unveils its first update since the initial release of Android Wear back in 2014.
The first devices to run Android Wear 2.0 were unveiled yesterday, with the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style set to go on sale on February 10th.
But these are far from the only devices that will be able to run Android Wear 2.0, as Google is making the platform available to a number of older devices as well.
The LG Watch Style is one of the first devices to feature Android Wear 2.0
This includes popular wearables such as the Moto 360 2nd generation, LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch, although some Android Wear 2.0 features will only be able to be used on certain devices with the correct hardware.
The full list of compatible devices also includes ASUS ZenWatch 2 & 3, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Casio PRO TREK Smart, Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Wander, LG G Watch R, Michael Kors Access Smartwatches, New Balance RunIQ, Nixon Mission, Polar M600 and TAG Heuer Connected.
If you want to update your device to Android Wear 2.0, you may have to wait a few days, as Google is rolling out the release now.
When it is available, you’ll get a notification to upgrade, or can manually update through the Settings menu of your device.
So what will Android Wear 2.0 bring to your smartwatch?
Top of the list is Google’s new voice-activated smart assistant. Previously only available in the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, the Google Assistant is a hands-free way to get all the information you need, direct to your wrist.
Ask the Google Assistant a question and it will respond - whether that’s asking about the weather, how best to get to work, or even making a restaurant reservation.
All you need to do is hold down the power button on your watch, or say “OK Google”, and the Assistant will spring to life.
Google is making Android Wear 2.0 available to a wide range of devices
Another function that the Google Assistant can bring is a quicker way to write or respond to messages via dictation.
In fact, sending a text or instant message is easier than ever with Android Wear 2.0, as users can tap on a notification to respond via typing, dictation or for the first time, drawing with their finger.
Apps including Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts and WhatsApp are all included, and will also be covered by Android Wear 2.0’s new Smart Reply feature, which learns from your typing habits to provide quick suggestions for your next words.
Android Wear 2.0 also bring more customisation than ever before.
Users will be able to personalise their first choice watch face to always display information and notifications from their favourite apps.
This means you can get updates on your calendar meetings, fitness information or message alerts with just a look.
Up to eight different watch faces can be customised in this way, meaning you’re never too far from the updates you need.
Best of all, Android Wear 2.0 brings an end to the era of needing your phone with you at all times to enjoy the most out of your smartwatch.
The new software allows users to download apps directly from the Google Play app store to their watch.
Google has introduced specially-designed versions of many popular apps for Android Wear 2.0, including the likes of AccuWeather, Uber, Runkeeper and more.
If you have the right network connection, you can also make calls and use these apps no matter where you are - or where your phone is.