It’s time for an update: Android Wear 2.0 is officially launched! The upgrades, many of which were announced at Google’s I/O Conference last May, are significant improvements over the first version. Google has made major changes to the watch face, messaging, notifications, and apps.
The first two watches running Android Wear 2.0 were the LG Watch Sport and LG watch style, both of which were designed in partnership with Google to show the best aspects of the new operating system. They will go on sale today, February 10, so if you are reading it, they are already available. More models from other manufacturers will follow in the coming weeks.
When your Android Watch will receive an update
If you already own an Android watch, look for these new features that will be rolled out to you in an update sometime in the next few weeks or months. However, keep in mind that not all existing clocks will receive 2.0. Here’s the full list to update:
ASUS ZenWatch 2
ASUS ZenWatch 3
Casio Outdoor Smart Watch
Casio PRO TREK Smart
Q Wander Fossils
Q Marshal fossils
Founder of Fossil Q
Huawei Watch Ladies
LG Watch Urbane 2nd edition LTE
LG Watch Urbane
LG G Watch R
Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smart Watch
Michael Kors Access Dylan Smart Watch
2nd generation Moto 360
Moto 360 Sport
New Balance RunIQ
Tag Heuer connected
Finally not bound!
The biggest improvement may be that some Android Wear 2.0 watches now work independently of the phone, whether via a mobile network or WiFi. Of course, they can still connect to smartphones via Bluetooth. But equipped with a watch equipped with LTE, you can leave your phone at home and still do quite a lot of things that Android Wear supports.
A better watch face
If you feel easy, Android Wear definitely has your number. The operating system already boasts an incredible 4,000 watch faces on the Google Play store. But now Android Wear has simplified the transition between watch faces. If you don’t like the watch face, you’ll now just swipe up when it’s in the watch pane and it’s replaced.
Perhaps the biggest improvement, however, is the addition of small image elements to the watch face to provide useful “viewable information.” You can add up to four of these elements – known as “complications” among watch fans – on your watch face, whether date elements, event calendars, calorie counters, photo albums, etc. Quickly tapping an anthophases brings it to full screen. Setting up elements is simple. Here you can see what the elements look like on the watch face. They think it’s like a pilot’s watch.
Also improved is the settings menu, which you can access by dragging down like a window shadow from the top of the clock. It’s more compact than version 1.0, which gives you all the settings on one screen. Among these settings is brightness control, this is a constant complaint from 1.0 users as it is difficult to reach. With 2.0, the issue was fixed and then some. Not only can you access your brightness settings by swiping and quick touch, but you can also preview what the watch looks like when you adjust the brightness. Here’s a quick settings menu view.
A small, useful addition worth noting is that when scrolling, a small zoom will hover over your watch face, specifying exactly where you are on the screen.
Finally, it’s easier than ever to get back to your watch face. Let’s just assume you’ve dived into the app or installed it. Two taps of the hardware button on the side of your phone will take you back all the time.
The app has a change
Apps are easier to access. Pressing the hardware button will take you to them. The screen has changed to a type of conveyor belt that revolves around the left side of the screen. As apps rotate, they increase in size to make them easier to view and select. It’s also convenient that your most-used apps will start appearing at the top of the list.
Smarter messaging and notifications
Both messaging and notifications are more intuitive in Android Wear 2.0. When you receive a notification, as long as your watch is ‘always on’, it will show up on your screen. After a few seconds, it will disappear.
When you wake up your watch, another reminder will appear again in seconds, this time a small pop-up. If you choose to reply, swipe up and the card with the message appears. You can reply directly to the message.
As with version 1.0, you can reply to messages by voice, emoji, or pre-composed reply, (which is said to be getting smarter). The new point is the addition of a keyboard with predictive typing.
iPhone is also popular
Finally, while compatibility with the iPhone launched in late 2016, it is limited. Android 2.0 expands the capabilities of Android Wear watches with iPhones.