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    February 9, 2017

    Android Wear 2.0 launches, brings smarter features to your wrist

    android wear 2.0

    Google has officially launched Android Wear 2.0, bringing with it the ability for smartwatches to operate independently of a companion phone.

    Rejoice: Google has officially announced that Android Wear 2.0 is out in the wild, and smartwatch users can expect to see a bevy of improvements hit their device of choice in the near future.

    The update, which was first announced at Google’s 2016 I/O and has been the subject of multiple delays, will bring new functionality to user’s wrists through the improvement of always-on watch faces.

    Read: Apple’s App Store crushes the Google Play Store with twice as much revenue

    Google touts that in Android Wear 2.0, users will be able to personalize their watch’s always-on display to provide information and actions from various apps; Google has showcased options such as calendars, fitness apps, and stock exchange trackers as prime options.

    Further to that improvement is the arrival of separate always-on screens that can be configured with a swipe, similarly to how many Android home screens operate.

    Google Fit will now be able to track the pace and distance traveled by its user, while further offering heart rate tracking for specific activities for smartwatches that have a heart rate sensor installed.

    Another highly-anticipated Google service arriving on the platform is, of course, Google Assistant which will arrive in both English and German while other languages will be added in the coming months.

    Google Assistant will first debut on the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport, similarly to how the digital assistant is rumored to arrive onboard the forthcoming LG G6.

    Finally, messaging support benefits from a streamlined interacting process through which users can dictate, type, or hand-write responses, which comes in addition to perhaps Android Wear’s biggest feature yet; the ability for wearable devices with cellular connectivity to function independently of a companion smartphone.

    To do so, Android Wear 2.0 introduces its own dedicated Google Play Store, though which users can download Android Wear apps directly to their smartwatch.

    Read: Google’s self-driving Uber competitor is on the horizon

    While Android Wear 2.0 will be available on the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport on launch, Google has promised that the update will head to older devices in the near future.

    What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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