As expected, Google has just launched the new Android Wear 2.0 operating system, which is to be rolled out as an update to all compatible smartwatches beginning today. The new platform has been in the works for less than a year, but the search giant had to postpone its release for a few months.
Alongside Android Wear 2.0, Google introduced its Nexus-like smartwatches, the result of the collaboration with LG: the Watch Sport and Watch Style. Both wearable devices will go on sale tomorrow for $380 and $270, respectively.
Android Wear 2.0 brings lots of new features into the mix, and enhances some of the already existent features such as iOS support for example.
Among the most important improvements added in Android Wear 2.0, we can mention Google Assistant, which will provide you with answers to all your questions directly on your wrist. You can now hold down the power button on the watch or say “Ok Google” to activate it.
Obviously, Google Assistant is only available in English and German on Android Wear, but support for other languages will be added in the coming months.
Google Fit is one of the apps that come pre-installed on just about any Android Wear watch, allowing you to track your pace, distance, calories burned and heart rate while you're running, cycling or simply walking.
Android Wear 2.0 also allows users to download apps directly on their watches from the new on-watch Google Play Store. In addition, those watches that feature cellular connectivity will also allow users to make calls and use their watch apps regardless of where the smartphone paired with the watch is.
All watches running Android Wear 2.0 will work independently with the following apps: AccuWeather, Android Pay, Bring!, Foursquare, Google Fit, Google Messenger, Google Play Music, Lifesum, Robinhood, Runkeeper, Runtastic, Strava, Telegram, and Uber. Other apps will be added to the list in the coming weeks.
The new version of the OS enables more options to reply to messages directly from the watch. For example, you can now expand any notification received on the phone and tap to reply by typing, handwriting, dictating, or drawing an emoji.
The new notification options will be available for many apps including Facebook Messenger, Glide, Google Messenger, Hangouts, Telegram and WhatsApp.
A new Smart Reply option has been added too, which provides users with suggestions based on the messages they have received.
Last but not least, Android Wear 2.0 brings even more customized watch faces that provide users with additional options to personalize their wearable devices. You can just swipe to switch the watch face to another one that's more suitable to your next activity (gym, dinner, office, home).