Google releases Android Wear 2.0
New OS for your Android Wear watch, but new LG watches won’t launch in Australia.
We’ve known for a while now that Google would ship Android Wear 2.0, its update to its wearables operating system, in February. Google has announced overnight that Android Wear 2.0 will be available for supported watches "in the coming weeks".
Android Wear 2.0 adds switchable watch faces with an increased level of personalisation, as well as updates to Google Fit and an app store accessed directly from the watch face itself. The Google Assistant found on the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL is also present to enable fully hands-free operation of watch functions.
Android Wear 2.0 won’t be available for every previous generation Android Wear device owing to the greater complexity of the new OS, however. Here are the devices that should see the Android Wear 2.0 upgrade over time:
|Android Wear 2.0 Capable Watches|
|ASUS ZenWatch 2 & 3|
|Casio PRO TREK Smart|
|Casio Smart Outdoor Watch|
|Fossil Q Founder|
|Fossil Q Marshal|
|Fossil Q Wander|
|LG Watch R|
|LG Watch Urbane and 2nd Edition LTE|
|Michael Kors Access Smartwatches|
|Moto 360 2nd Gen|
|Moto 360 for Women|
|Moto 360 Sport|
|New Balance RunIQ|
|TAG Heuer Connected|
Alongside Android Wear 2.0, Google was expected to announce its own Android Wear 2.0 devices, the first to ship at retail with the new operating system. It was widely leaked that these would be watches built by LG.
That’s precisely what has happened, with the LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport announced for retail availability in the US. The smaller LG Watch Style will retail for $US249, while the larger LG Watch Style will sell for US$349. However, if you’re keen on the style you’ll have to import one. According to Ausdroid, LG Australia has no plans at this time to offer either watch to the Australian market.
The smartwatch market is one that has been substantially hyped, with manufacturers such as Apple with the Apple Watch and Samsung with the Gear S3 making significant investments in promoting smartwatches as a must-have gadget. Not every manufacturer has seen gold in smartwatches, however, with Motorola notably announcing that it was no longer working on new smartwatch models after the Moto 360 2nd Gen model.