Google Announces Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches With Improve Messaging And Standalone Support

Google Announces Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches

Google Announces Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches With Improve Messaging And Standalone Support.

Today Google declared Android Wear 2.0, the greatest update to its wearable operating system since its release back in September 2014. The biggest change with the software, which discharges this fall, is apps can be run standalone without the requirement for a phone nearby. 

In fact, Google's David Singleton, the company's head of wearables, says the live demo shown today at its I/O developer conference was done with the associated Android smartphone turned off the entire time. Android Wear watches will now associate to Wi-Fi networks on their own, or rely completely on cellular when you're on the go.

The update to Android Wear comes as Google attempts to play catch-up with the Apple Watch, which leads the market for smartwatches, according to IDC. A majority of the watches sold by No. 2 Samsung run on Samsung's own operating system. Google is hoping that the grouping of a smarter interface and compatibility with rival Apple's iPhone will help it recover some momentum.

At the crux of that is Google's idea of "complications," or watch-speak for widgets that demonstrate our current step count, our stock prices, our next appointment, or any other data we choose. "You can have data from any app on any watch face," Android Wear team leader David Singleton said in an interview.

Difficulties are now going to be a standard part of Android Wear watch faces, and app developers barely need to be involved to make them work, Singleton said. As long as they contain data that might be useful at a glance, users will soon be able to make that data seem on the face of their watch, no matter which face it might be.

Speaking of the app launcher, the new one is a big enhancement. Rather than tapping through a list of the apps, the new launcher uses a scrolling interface that is made better and much simpler use of round watch faces.

Using the third-party watch apps themselves is also a much well experience and the most important change in Android Wear 2.0. With the update, Google is releasing watch apps from the smartphone with the addition of standalone apps.  

This means that watch apps can run individually of our smartphone, even if we don't have a watch with a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. This is mainly significant for iPhone users because it will actually allow them to use third-party apps on Android Wear watches — making Android Wear more of a feasible alternative to the Apple Watch.

"We’ll have a way for people to get apps from the cloud to their watches so the phone is basically no longer part of the picture," Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang, tellsMashable. "The great thing about that is if you’re an iPhone user you can still get those third-party apps running on your watch."

Messaging from the watch will also see some progress as people no longer need to rely on preserved replies or voice notation alone. A new QWERTY keyboard that uses swipe-based signs permits a user to input several words at once. While keyboards on tiny displays typically look like a bad idea, Chang says the keyboard can enable typing at "tens of words" a minute, when using gestures and autocomplete.

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