A Significant Update
Android Wear 2.0 was a surprise announcement made by Google in the I/O of 2016. It is a significant update for Android Wear and comes with several interesting highlights.
Firstly, the user interface is now darker and comes with a carousel application launcher. Secondly, the message reply feature is more intelligent and even offers suggestions when the user receives a message. In addition, there is a full Qwerty keyboard along with handwriting feature. Thirdly, there are several third party application complications, which users can access on the Google watch face as well as other watch faces. The fitness capability has been enhanced tremendously due to the automatic detection of activity, with respect to bicep curls, deadlifts and other exercises concerned with strength training.
New Features Analyzed
The user interface has been enhanced, taking greater advantage of the hardware buttons seen on watches. The responsiveness has been improved and it is easier for users to navigate from one point to another, compared to the previous Android Wear versions. The overhaul on the user interface comes with a Material Design theme.
The carousel application launcher also provides more ease of use, taking full advantage of a round display screen. As for the third party application complications, it makes it easy for use on the Apple Watch as well. Widgets can be embedded in an app into the watch face, applicable even to third party faces. These can be used for launching a particular application or for performing a set action when the user taps on it. A complication, such as a to do list, can be made to display the number of items on the list and you can easily access it by tapping on it. Though some previous versions of the device did have this functionality, it has been very smoothly integrated on the platform in 2.0 version.
New Input Features
The QWERTY keyboard as well as handwriting recognizing features offers new mechanisms for input. However, the keyboard does look a little cramped on the display. Yet, it offers support for tracing, so users don’t have to select every letter. The handwriting-recognizing feature is more useful, and more so for replies that just contain a single word.
Availability for Developers
Android Wear 2.0 is available for developers as of 18th May 2016, but the general public will only be able to access it later on this year.
Doing Much More
The biggest pitch from Google regarding the device is that the new update offers greater independence to the watch from your smartphone. The update also makes it possible to take full advantage of LTE connection for watches and other latest technologies. The new interface makes it possible for a compatible watch to do much more, without the need of being attached to a phone. Input methods have improved making communication much easier. It is based on the Android N, so the watch offers support for Data Saver, new emojis and for Java 8, along with many platform features.