Android Wear 2.0 was announced several months ago at Google I/O, and in the time since, it has suffered through a lot of delays. It has shown what it’s capable of over the course of several developer previews, though, and now Google is releasing Android Wear 2.0 to the public…
The best gifts for Android users
Android Wear 2.0’s final release doesn’t change a whole lot from what we saw in the developer previews, but adds a ton compared to the latest public release of Wear. Watch faces can now use “complications” to interact with the various apps installed on the watch, and various core Android Wear apps have been updated with improved functionality. Further, the Google Play Store is now available directly on the watch, taking away the need to install apps on your smartphone. This is an especially useful addition on LTE-equipped smartwatches like the new LG Watch Sport and Watch Urbane 2nd Edition.
One of the biggest standouts on Android Wear 2.0, however, is the addition of Google Assistant. Since its launch, Assistant has been tied specifically to Pixel devices and Google Home, so this is a welcome addition as Google Assistant could certainly flex its muscles on your wrist. Further, Android Wear 2.0 adds extra options for replies, such as Smart Reply, which offers intelligent responses based on message contents, as well as handwriting and keyboard input.
This public release comes along with the announcement of two new smartwatches, the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport. However, what about the current lineup of watches already on the market? Luckily, Google still has plans to update the majority of Android Wear devices that have been released over the past couple of years. The full list 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
As you can tell, this list includes almost all Android Wear devices. However, there are some notable standouts, mainly older watches. The entire first generation of Android Wear smartwatches such as the LG G Watch, Moto 360, and others are left out. Why? For most of those watches, it doesn’t have to do with specifications, but rather design, as we covered last year.
From this point forward, new Android Wear devices should also pack Android Wear 2.0 out of the box. Hopefully, we’ll see some new options from OEMs over the coming weeks, such as the ZTE Quartz that leaked this week.