Android Wear 2.0 will overhaul your smartwatches

Google introduced feature laden Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O 2016

Android Wear 2.0 was one of the many key announcements made at the Google I/O 2016. The new update pushes the smartwatches running Android Wear to whole new level while also being independent of the phones. So far Google added new features to its smartwatch whenever the new version of Android was announced. That seems to change now.

Standalone apps:
The Android Wear 2.0 gives apps the ability to directly connect to the internet to fetch data instead of relying on the phone to fetch the data and pass it on. Previously, the Android smartwatch owners who used them with iPhone had inferior experience due to the limitations in iOS. With Standalone Apps, iPhone users will get the same experience as their Android friends.

New UI:
Android Wear 2.0 also brings overhauled UI to smartwatches. As a part of this update, Material UI has been ported to Android Wear. It also makes the whole UI easier on eyes and battery by putting the white text on the darker background instead of previous black text on white background. It also lets apps have expanded notifications so you can read whole information without having to pull out your phone.

Messaging on watch:
With Android Wear 2.0 comes the Smart Reply feature. It's a context-aware feature that lets you send suitable replies to incoming messages even without typing. Google has included a keyboard and handwriting as input methods for smartwatches. Sure the tiny screens are not really great for typing, but when the you want to send a quick acknowledgment of something, this is good enough.

More data on your watchface:
Previously it wasn't possible for apps to display data on just any watchface. Android Wear 2.0 gets rid of this obstacle. Now the apps can show essential data directly on any watchface using Complications API introduced in Android Wear 2.0. This means the watchface can show more information than just hours and minutes. Battery indicator, for example.

Android Wear 2.0 Complications

The new update also makes smartwatches a better activity tracker with improvements to Google Fit. Developers will have much precise data to use in thier apps. It will let apps take advantage of Android N features such as Data Saver.

This article was first published on May 20, 2016