On Wednesday, Google announced the launch of the much-awaited Android Wear 2.0, which is supposed to give new life to the falling popularity of smart watches globally.
Alongside the update for wearables, Google has also introduced a new line of smartwatches in collaboration with LG — Watch Style and Watch Sport — both of which will come with Android Wear 2.0.
The new update makes the smartwatch a more useful extension of your smartphone as it comes loaded with a plethora of new features, including Google Assistant on your wrist.
“Today, we’re announcing Android Wear 2.0 to give you more informative watch faces, better workouts, new ways to use apps, more ways to stay in touch and on-the-go help from the Google Assistant,” David Singleton, VP of Engineering, Android Wear stated.
Watch Face Customisations
Users with Android Wear 2.0 update enabled on their smartwatch will be able to customise the always-on watch face with their favourite apps — be it your appointment, workout progress, stock information or any other thing that fancies you.
A tap on the watch face will let users book Uber rides, start the workout routine or get in touch with a top priority contact — with a simple swipe on the watch face.
Work Out Enhancements
The pre-installed Google Fit app now tracks your progress while you’re walking running or cycling, covering metrics such as pace, distance covered, calories burned as well as heart rate (on smartwatches with sensors).
The watch will also keep a count on the number of reps during weight lifting, push-ups, squats and more.
On-Watch Google Play Store
Android Wear 2.0 also gives users the ability to downloads apps directly on their smartwatch — like AccuWeather, Android Pay, Bring!, Foursquare, Google Fit, Google Messenger, Google Play Music, Lifesum, Robinhood, Runkeeper, Runtastic, Strava, Telegram, Uber and many more — with the Play Store on the watch.
A cellular-connected smartwatch will also help you stay in touch with contacts via calls and messages, immaterial of where your phone is.
Responding to Messages via Watch Made Easier
The new update also makes replying to messages easier as users can now respond by handwriting your answer, dictating to your watch, typing or with an emoji — directly from your watch.
The feature works on apps like Facebook Messenger, Glide, Google Messenger, Hangouts, Telegram and WhatsApp. The new update also brings Smart Reply feature — like the one Google Allo featured — which suggests response based on the content of the message received.
Your Wrist Gets Google Assistant
Google Assistant comes to your wrist with the Android Wear 2.0 update — helping you find answers to your queries, setting up reminders, making restaurant reservations or navigating your way to a specific destination and more.
To access Google Assistant, just hold down the power button of your watch and say ‘Ok Google’.
The Assistant is currently available only in English and German, with support for more languages to be added in the coming months.
“You can check when and where you’re meeting a friend, whether you’ll need an umbrella tonight, or how many minutes you’ve been active today — all without reaching for your phone,” Singleton adds.