Android Wear 2.0 Announced; Features Improved Watch Faces, Smart Reply, and Supports Standalone Apps

Android Wear 2.0

Alongside some major non-Android related announcements, Google also announced Android Wear 2.0 — its biggest update to the platform yet. The next version of Android Wear will feature improved watch faces that can display data from any data.

Right now, Android Wear apps can only show data from a selected list of applications that greatly limited their capabilities. To make interaction easier, Google is also overhauling key aspects of the UI to make it easier to do certain tasks, including sending messages with Smart Replies, better handwriting recognition, and more. It is also adding a keyboard to the OS, in case you feel like typing on the tiny screen of your smartwatch.

Android Wear 2 Smart Reply

Google is also opening Android Wear platform to other third-party music applications, so you can now stream music from Spotify right from your Android Wear smartwatch. Thanks to LTE support, Android Wear 2.0 also supports standalone apps that allows developers to create richer apps for the platform. It also makes Android Wear as a platform less reliant on a smartphone, as current Android Wear smartwatches essentially turn into a dumb watch once they are disconnected from the smartphone.

The final release of Android Wear 2.0 will be released later this summer from Google, with a preview for developers available for download right away.