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Android Wear 2.0 Officially Launched, Here’s What’s New

After months of developer previews, Android Wear 2.0 is now ready for launch. Officially unveiled this morning by Google, the list of changes is quite large, so let’s dive into it and go over the features you can expect to find once your smartwatch is updated or you purchase one of those fancy new LG devices.

Things like Google Assistant and Android Pay support are included, but beyond that, the way users interact with message notifications and even downloading apps from Google Play has changed. It’s quite the OS overhaul, so get ready to do a bit of reading.

Let’s dive in.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is now available inside Android Wear 2.0. With it, folks can ask about the weather, hail an Uber, or even make a reservation for dinner, all while “hands free.” To begin, simply press down on the device’s power button, which will bring up Assistant, then speak your inquiry or command. While it seems hard to label something as hands free when you have to actively press on a button, that’s the way Google describes it.

Better Message Response Handling

In Android Wear 2.0, responding to messages is easier than ever. When a notification comes in, be it from Facebook Messenger, Glide, Google Messenger, Hangouts, Telegram or WhatsApp, users can swipe down on the notification and indicate how they’d like to respond. You can choose between dictating, typing, handwriting, or even drawing an emoji. There is also “Smart Reply,” which instantly suggests different responses based on the received message.

Better, More Useful Watch Faces

Users on Android Wear 2.0 can now personalize the always-on watch face with information and actions from partner applications. For example, you can order an Uber ride via a watch face shortcut, start a workout, or get in contact with your partner in crime, all from a single click on the watch face. Throughout the day, if you need different actions for a certain task, different faces can hold different shortcuts and actions, meaning you can have different setups for home, the gym, and the office.

Using Apps in New Ways

Inside the latest build of Android Wear, users will find access to Google Play, allowing for the quick download of new applications. Additionally, if you have cellular connectivity on your watch, you can make calls and use your watch apps without the need of being connected to your smartphone, such as paying with Android Pay, using Google Messenger, AccuWeather, Play Music, and Uber. To sum it up, Android Wear 2.0 should offer a much improved app experience for users

Complete list of watches set to receive Android Wear 2.0:

ASUS ZenWatch 2 & 3, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Casio PRO TREK Smart, Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Wander, Huawei Watch, LG Watch R, LG Watch Urbane & 2nd Edition LTE, Michael Kors Access Smartwatches, Moto 360 2nd Gen, Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 Sport, New Balance RunIQ, Nixon Mission, Polar M600 and TAG Heuer Connected.

Make the most of every step

For even more details on Android Wear 2.0, be sure to check out Google’s complete blog post by following the via link below.

Via: Google

    You can say OK Google also. Don’t have to press the button

  • M3D1T8R

    All I want to know is if Hangouts dialer will now work, so I can make calls through Hangouts direct from the watch.

    Missing that was the reason I returned the Zenwatch2 that I tried out.

  • good420
  • Just wish we had a ‘snap fingers to trigger assistant’ feature, that’s all! And voice responses on the watch.

    Still loving my Zenwatch 3 :))

    • CapnShiner

      I’m pretty sure that’s possible with 3rd party apps. Probably gestures as well.

      • Oh I tried! tried multiple apps to reroute audio from the phone to the watch and all, still can’t get voice responses. Also tried a few gesture apps as well, aside of Autovoice there’s not much we can do 🙁 Thanks though!

  • sr20s13

    Why can’t they make another Moto 360 1st gen looking watch! Well really I want the Moto 360 1st gen with updated internals and an OLED screen.

    • Ilya Kolodiychik

      360 v2 is FAR better than the 360 v1 I had before it. I’m planning to rock the V2 for YEARS if nothing resembling it released.

  • Cprsmrrcr3

    Have a lot of ground to make up to catch my Gear S3 Frontier… that is how a wearable should be… great battery, great features, bezel navigation, and looks like a real nice watch. I had the OG Moto 36- and have a Fossil Q founder so I am looking forward to the update but I don’t know if it can beat the Samsung.

    • CapnShiner

      Bragging much?

  • mcdonsco

    Is it the app on the phone or the software on the watch getting updated? Curious, as I have had Android Wear 2.0 on my phone since January 25th…? Specifically

    • PerhapsNever

      Software. The AW phone app was updated previously to support the launch of AW2.

      • mcdonsco

        That’s what I figured, thanks for confirming.

  • json405

    Damn it. I forgot to dust off my LG U2E. I’m assuming the LG and Huawei watches get first dibs since google used those as test devices followed by the other brands.

    Does anyone know if Google assistant will work without having the watch connected vis cloud sync to the phone?

    • PerhapsNever

      I’m wearing my U2LTE right now waiting for the update. 🙂

  • pilot25

    Can you add this to a grandfathered unlimited data plan without losing unlimited data?

  • BuckNut614

    Any updates to the fitness side of things? Something that is comparable to the Fitbit would be nice.

  • himynameisricky

    So which Android Wear watches currently have NFC? I want to upgrade my 1st gen 360, but not sure if I should wait to see what else gets released this year

    • json405

      LG Urbane 2nd edition and the Sony Smart watch 3 have NFC built in and the new LG watches that are coming out. However, the Sony SW3 is currently not listed to be upgradeable to 2.0.

  • paul_cus

    Looks good

  • coldcc

    *hits update on first gen moto 360* lol sad face 🙁

    • Me too… Going to stick with it for now, see if ROM devs do anything interesting with it.

  • Suicide_Note
  • Walter Partlo

    When can I haz it?

    • Rashad

      The source link says Android Wear 2.0 will be available in the coming weeks for any supported devices.

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  • daniel375

    this is all great info except that its still actually not out yet….woohooo its been officially launched as some text on a webpage about what will be coming soon.

    • Suicide_Note

      It’s supposed to start getting pushed out to devices today.

      • daniel375

        as per google blog post…”Android Wear 2.0 will be available for all supported watches in the coming weeks. We hope Android Wear 2.0 lets you stay more informed, organized, healthy and connected to what matters most.”

        • atc-tech

          SOON! IN THE COMING WEEKS! WE SWEAR! Lol. I’m really tired of THAT in the whole world of Technology.