It’s time to reimagine what’s possible for wearables with the biggest update yet to Google’s slowly flourishing Android Wear platform. Fittingly dubbed 2.0 (no dessert name or other type of alias?), the new OS aims to help you do a lot more on your wrist when not synched to a smartphone.
There are already a few Android smartwatches around that can connect to the web via 3G and even 4G LTE by themselves, but with Android Wear 2.0, you also get “standalone apps”, where your wearable apps have direct network support for “better and richer” independent experiences.
Handwriting recognition, which frankly looks a little clunky at the moment, and Smart Reply functionality are an integral part of the OS revamp too, the latter enabling “new ways to respond to messages right on your wrist.”
Then you got a vastly improved fitness experience with automatic activity tracking and quick data exchanges between apps through the Google Fit API. Watch faces become “more useful” by showing data from any app, and last but not least, services like Spotify don’t need a nearby connected phone either to squeeze out premium productivity.
Available as a developer preview already, Android Wear 2.0 will roll out to the wide public sometime “in the fall.”