If Google has any plans to take on Apple in the wearable segment, then Android Wear 2.0 is probably their latest, and last hope. The roll out of the new version is the reason why the LGs and Huawei’s haven’t announced new wearable products.
Samsung has already moved base with Tizen (getting apps on board is still an issue), and others are hoping that Google finally gives them a suitable version of Android for the wearables.
So what’s new with the new Android Wear 2.0 version which was revealed to the world this week? We find out...
As you can see, the team at Android Wear has made sure that users have something to look forward to. A slew of features have been added, that hopefully will be good enough for buyers, finally giving them a reason to spend upwards of 10K on a smartwatch.
Now you get more watch face options, which ensures that the look of your smartwatch never goes out of fashion. You can even change it according to your mood or based on the interface of your favourite apps.
Fitness Gets Priority
Apple took the onus with the Watch OS 2.0 and ensured that Apple Watch users could rely on the watch for fitness purposes. With the Android Wear 2.0, Google has done the same now, giving seamless interaction between the built-in sensors of the wearable, and the app paired with. Or you can rely on the improved GoogleFit app to get going.
Apps For the Watch
If there’s one thing that we didn’t like about the previous version of Android Wear (AW), it had to be the reliance on a phone to download apps. Well, that’s gone now, as with AW 2.0, you get access to download apps from the watch itself. This ensures that even without a phone in your hand, you can head over to Playstore and downloads apps. Finally!
All aboard the Google Assistant
If you’ve used the Google Pixel smartphone, or the Allo messaging app, then Google Assistant would mean something for you. This intuitive feature from Google combines machine learning with your search patterns to give you smart answers, all sourced from Google’s infinite data library.
And the same intuitiveness will now be available to smartwatch running on AW 2.0. LG is one of the first to launch its wearable with this version of AW, and we expect Moto to get its own in the coming months. Google Assistant pits against Apple’s Siri, and at least in country like India, both GA and Siri are neck-to-neck in terms of usability.
One, Two Many Ways of Messaging
You can respond to texts from the smartwatch, even without a phone in your hand. This comes in handy for fitness freaks, who’d want to rely on their watch, allowing them to leave behind their phones at home.
This changes everything for Android Wear, and hopefully this will also reduce Bluetooth usage for pairing devices.
Watch OS and Android Wear 2.0: Where they Stand?
It would be hard to say if AW 2.0 is comparable to Watch OS, or even better. Features wise, there is very little to separate to between the two at the moment, which means Google has been playing catch up over its Cupertino rival.
Once the battery life gets a big improvement, and prices of the watches go down, it will be accessible to a whole new set of consumers.