After a slight delay, Google has finally released Android Wear 2.0 to the masses. This rounds off all the announcements made at I/O 2016 by making each product and service unveiled available to the public.
New in Android Wear 2.0 is a number of things. For starters, customizable watch faces are present to make the OS more up to par with competitors such as watchOS on the Apple Watch; an improved Google Fit experience provides users with pace, distance, calories burned and heart rate statistics for nearly all workouts within the app; a dedicated Google Play Store allows users to download any compatible app to their watch without having to depend on a paired Android smartphone or iOS device (this is especially useful for those with LTE-enabled watches); you can now message people by typing, drawing, or dictating with your voice in Facebook Messenger, Glide, Google Messenger, Hangouts, Telegram or WhatsApp; Smart Reply provides auto-generated quick responses for messages; and last but not least, the Google Assistant has made its way to your wrist which allows you to answer questions and receive answers, control your smart home, check the weather, and more with just your voice.
Devices getting the upgrade to Android Wear 2.0 are as follows:
- ASUS ZenWatch 2
- ASUS ZenWatch 3
- Casio Smart Outdoor Watch
- Casio PRO TREK Smart
- Fossil Q Founder
- Fossil Q Marshal
- Fossil Q Wander
- Huawei Watch (all variants)
- LG G Watch R
- LG Watch Urbane
- LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE
- Michael Kors Access Smartwatches
- Moto 360 2nd Gen
- Moto 360 2nd Gen (Women’s Editions)
- Moto 360 Sport
- New Balance RunIQ
- Nixon Mission
- Polar M600
- TAG Heuer Connected
In addition, two new Android Wear watches (the first to run Android Wear 2.0, in fact) have also been officially unveiled. They’re called the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport and are the result of a partnership between LG and Google.
Starting with the Style, a 10.8mm thin build is present which allows users to swap out 18mm bands out of the box. A single button is present which allows users to activate the Google Assistant, scroll through a page (yes, the button rotates), and bring up the app launcher. Spec-wise, we’re looking at a 1.2-inch 360×360 display, 512MB of RAM, a 240mAh battery, and an IP67 certification. Unfortunately, there’s no NFC or LTE capabilities here, but if this is a deal breaker, you may wanna look at the Watch Sport…
The LG Watch Sport has a thicker 14.2mm body which provides more durability, three buttons with the same rotating middle clicker to activate the Assistant and scroll through menus, and much better specs. To be more specific, the Sport has a larger 1.38-inch 480×480 display, 768MB of RAM, a 430mAh battery, and an IP68 certification. In addition, an NFC chip, GPS, and a heart rate sensor are also present. There’s also a model that’ll arrive with LTE bands, allowing Watch Sport users to walk around without their phone and still receive messages and notifications. This is obviously the flagship smartwatch out of the two and for good reason: Google says it’s “Android Wear’s most powerful watch yet.”
Color wise, the former will arrive in Titanium, Silver, and Rose Gold, while the latter comes in Titanium and Dark Blue. The Watch Style will start at $249 and the Watch Sport will go for $379 when they launch on February 10th. Best Buy and the Google Store will be selling the Style while AT&T, Verizon, and the Google Store will offer the Sport. As for Android Wear 2.0, Google says it’ll roll out over the coming weeks and reach all supported devices in that time.
- SOURCE: Google