Android Wear 2.0 has just got its release date pushed up to February 8. The platform is supposed to be a completely revamped version of the original with a number of manufacturers already announcing their newest wearables with this software. Here are five features to get users excited about the latest wearable operating system by Google.
On-watch Play Store
This platform will be a little different from the Android OS that we are used to seeing. This time around, it will feature the Play Store so that it is easier for users to find the perfect apps specifically made for their wearables. This will also give developers a good chance at making apps specifically for the platform and being discovered. So we should expect some unique apps to be designed for this OS.
The interface of the OS will be a lot more streamlined for users to navigate around, with material design taking stage front and centre. The redesigned app launcher will have features like swiping between screens. There will be different functions adhered to which direction the user swipes. It’s pretty neat, considering that this will be a lot more customizable and be able to display different data across different screens.
As part of Google’s new Complications API, the watch will be able to display information from other apps onto the watch faces. That means that information such as calories burnt, steps taken, or even incoming messages will be easily accessible on the watch face directly.
Card notifications on the previous version of Android Wear used to make the software cluttered and take up too much space. This time around, the notification will be made into smaller icons on the watch face. As the watch is raised to activate, each card will pop up and automatically hide itself. A progress bar can be made visible on the bottom of the screen that shows how many notification cards are left unread.
Users will now be able to input into their Android Wearables by swiping or by handwriting recognition. Both of which are pretty self-explanatory. Google will be including its own Android Wear 2.0 keyboard, but it will let third party makers also develop their own keyboard apps. Quick replies are also available, allowing users to provide up to three responses for their messages. This is a big feature considering how it will make the device completely independent of its companion phone.
Android Wear 2.0 was earlier rumored to launch on February 9, but now reports state it will release a day earlier. Google is teaming up with LG to unveil the first smartwatches, Watch Sport and Watch Style, powered by the new platform. Both the smartwatches are rumoured to go on sale the next day for $350 and $250, respectively.
Meanwhile, the wearables expected to receive the 2.0 upgrade include the newer Moto 360 (and Sport model), LG’s Watch Urbane, Urbane 2 and Watch R, the Polar M600, the Casio WSD-F10, Nixon’s The Mission, the original Tag Heuer Connected, and the Fossil Q Wander, Fossil and Founder.