Google unveiled Android Wear 2.0, which the company is calling “the most significant update to Android Wear” since the platform launched over two years ago.
Google will release the developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 at I/O, but it’ll take until the fall before this new version will roll out to all users.
Since the reveal is being made at Google I/O 2016, the company’s developer event, it’s fitting that Google is not just showing what’s coming, but actually releasing the first Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview.
With the latest version of Android Wear, smartwatches running it will be completely standalone and won’t require a smartphone as a companion. Devices will connect to Wi-Fi networks automatically, and will rely on cellular when you’re out and about.
The biggest change comes in the design, though. Google released new and enhanced Material Design guidelines for Wear 2.0. You can check them in the source link below.
Lastly, Android Wear 2.0 introduces new input methods as well as standalone apps.
The biggest changes, though, have been reserved for how you respond to messages. Before, you had to swipe to the side to reply, for example. Now, you simply tap on the message and Wear will drop you into a mini-app that shows you more data and possible actions.
The team added three new features for responding to messages, too, in addition to the existing voice and emoji replies. Just like in Inbox by Gmail, you can now use Google’s Smart Replies, which use machine learning, to automatically provide you with three possible answers to an incoming message.
Google unveiled Android Wear 2.0, you’ll now be able to view multiple data from different third party apps on the watch Android Wear 2.0. Think complications on Apple Watch. Now users will be able to have data from Spotify and Google Fit displayed on a single watch face for example and interact with them.
Android Wear will be available later today as a developer preview. It’s only compatible with the LG Watch Urbane Seccond Edition LTE and the Huawei Watch. More watches will be added as part of the Wear 2.0 update later on, like the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live.
Expect the update to become widely available some time in the fall.