We’ve only been waiting since, what, Google I/O?! Regardless of the dreadfully long wait it’s finally here, Android Wear 2.0 with new Watches coming end of the week. So, what’s it all about;
New features and a whole new UX
According to Google, Android Wear 2.0 is more personal, though Android Wear always was more personal than say the Apple Watch, due to the ability for anyone to design Watch faces to install. What we’re really happy to see however is some polish to the experience all adding together for a much better Watch experience, which tended to be rather finicky on the Android Wear of the past.
In a completely not-Apple Watch way, you can add Complications to your chosen Watch face, these can be shortcuts to Applications, or functions within, such as starting a Timer or Stopwatch, to launching apps like Uber or the Weather.
You can respond to messages directly on the Watch either with a full Keyboard layout or draw the letters you wish to type, which whilst yes has been on the Apple Watch for a while, it ironically was announced before Apple added it … which gives you a good idea on just how long we’ve been waiting for Android Wear 2.0.
Google Assistant on Wear 2.0
Until today, the Google Assistant was literally only available on Google Pixel devices, with expanded rollout expected soon, but now it finally makes its way to Android Wear. Unlike Google Now, the Google Assistant attempts, more or less, the same queries in a more conversational way, which is meant to make it more human-like to talk to.
Based on our experience with the Google Assistant on the Pixel, we’ll just say, it’s alright, but hard to tell difference between it and Google Now to be fair, having said that Google Now is still way ahead of Cortana and Siri so there’s that.
LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport
Whilst Android Wear 2.0 will be an update to a vast list of Android Wear devices, scroll down for support of older devices, it now has some official hardware to run on, all made by LG interestingly. You’ve the LG Watch Style and the LG Watch Sport, the Sport is what Google are branding the most powerful Watch yet.
LG WATCH STYLE
LG Watch Style offers a thin and light design and a metallic finishes to choose from, Silver, Rose Gold and Titanium. The Watch is compatible with 18mm leather and silicone bands, of which Google have quite the collection to choose from is Standard is not your thing available right here!
One interesting feature of the Watch Style is the side scrolling button, which is used to scroll through Android Wear interface, similar to Apple’s Digital Crown and the Gear S3/4 rotational scrolling feature. Tapping the button once will bring you your App list, holding it will bring up the Assistant. We imaging “OK Google” is still a command away.
LG WATCH SPORT
“The LG Watch Sport is Android Wear’s most powerful watch yet”, we’re not sure by what distinction it is, and whether the Style is less powerful, but that’s what Google say. The Watch Sport comes in either Titanium or Dark Blue colours with elastomer straps.
The device also has built in NFC which allows FINALLY Android Pay functionality right from your Wrist, we’ve been begging companies to adopt this forever! Yes, we know the Gear Watches have Samsung Pay, but have you seen how bad the Samsung Pay rollout has been. We hope this isn’t the case, but Google claim there’s a dedicated button for Android Pay on the Watch Sport, so we hope that doesn’t mean it’s the only Watch to support that feature.
Being a Sport Watch, naturally GPS is built in, with a heart rate sensor for your workouts and Cellular connectivity is an option too (though not a requirement). Due to the Cellular connectivity, the LG Watch Sport will also be available at Carrier Retail Stores.
UPDATE: Price for Sport model, $349
US consumers will be able to find the LG Watch Style at Best Buy and the Google Store, and the Watch Sport also at the Google Store as well as AT&T and Verizon Stores starting as soon as this Friday, February 10th.
If you don’t live in the US, like us, both Watches will be available from Carrier Retailers and more across the world in the following vast list of Countries in the coming weeks;
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
We expect to hear a lot more about both the Watches upon their release and availability so we’ll keep you posted, as basics such as even the exact sizes of the darn things is still unconfirmed.
Until we get them in hand … or on Wrist, we’ll have to see, though at least on Paper the Watches look pretty decent, though the lack of mention of Price is concerning.
Google released a rather terrible Ad to promote the new Android Wear which you can watch below;
Android Wear: Make the most of every step
Play tunes, count steps, make calls, and send texts. All from your Android Wear smartwatch. http://android.com/wear
Discover more about Android Wear by following us on:
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Video provided by Android on YouTube.
Android Wear 2.0 Compatibility
Google announced that whilst a vast list of Android Wear Watches will get Android Wear 2.0, their are a few missing, so hopefully you see your Watch below;
- 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
- TAG Heuer Connected.
Notable missing include the original Moto 360 and even the Sony SmartWatch which is still on sale today. Is your Watch missing from the list?