It feels like just yesterday that Google announced their launch of Android Wear; a dedicated smartwatch OS based on the Android platform. But that was March 2014, and since then there have been huge developments. Things have progressed so far, in fact, that just a few months ago the Android Wear 2.0 update was announced. Wondering what this meant? Keep reading, as we take a look at some of the biggest changes.
iPhone Users can join the club
Android Wear used to be specifically for, well, Android. But with the 2.0 update those on the iOS platform are also able to join in the fun. The only limitations are that you must be using at least an iPhone 5 that is running iOS 9 or higher.
The new generation of Android Wear will see manufacturers able to develop and imprint their own style onto the watches with much greater ease and precision. This had led to a large number of high-end designers jumping onboard the smartwatch game. For instance, Tag Heuer’s new range of smartwatches, Connected, perfectly emulates the brand’s classic analog design, but with the added appeal of Android functionality.
Choose Your Style
The team behind the update found that the appearance of the watch face was one of the most important features for users. As a result, they have vastly expanded the range of watch face designs so you can select precisely what you want to see. Personalize different watch faces for different occasions or times of day and move between them seamlessly. Trust us, it’s a lot of fun.
Through the 2.0 update, Google Assistant is now able to operate on smartwatches. Allowing you to send messages, receive reminders, calendar updates and weather notifications, the need to pull your phone out of your pocket will be greatly reduced. With the simple voice activation, ‘Okay Google’, the power of the web is at your disposal.
One of the biggest changes with the new Android Wear technology is that you can use your smartwatch without your phone. This means that you can download apps straight from the Play Store to the device and use them from there. Examples such as the Google Fit integration and the ability to open Spotify from the home screen are clear winners. Take a look at some of the great new apps accessible with the Android 2.0 update here.
As discussed in this previous post, the future will likely render the physical exchange of money obsolete and the technologies that replace are likely to be on the wrist, not the phone. Sure enough, Google Pay has now been fully integrated, allowing you to link your watch to your bank account. There are a number of security measures taken to reassure users, such as the need to enter a code every time the watch is switched off in order to reactive the payment connection.
All in all, it is clear that with this update Android Wear is sharpening its claws and preparing to dig into Apple’s dominance of smartwatch sales. Encompassing various functions including traditional timekeeping, messaging, fitness tracking and calendar management, it is clear that the new line of watches sold with this technology will be at the very forefront of the smart market.