T3 EX­PLAINS: AN­DROID WEAR 2.0

WHAT’S UP WITH THE NEXT GEN­ER­A­TION OF SMART­WATCHES?

Australian T3 - - ELITE -

Stand­alone apps

Pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions of An­droid Wear re­lied on your hand­set for much of the mus­cle and for host­ing a de­cent por­tion of the data. Wear 2.0 puts apps right on your wrist, and im­ple­ments a stand­alone app store ac­ces­si­ble from the watch. This makes Wi-Fi and (in some cases) cel­lu­lar con­nec­tiv­ity ever more im­por­tant, and also means that iPhone own­ers won’t be stuck with crip­pled Wear de­vices.

Up­dated de­sign

A curved, ver­ti­cal app se­lec­tor, brought up via the side but­ton, now feat­ues, as op­posed to the left/right swip­ing of pre­vi­ous ver­sions. There are new op­tions for in­put, from canned mes­sages to swipe-typ­ing (though we can’t imag­ine this will be hugely use­ful given the small screens on of­fer), and card no­ti­fi­ca­tions that won’t en­tirely ob­scure the watch­face.

Ex­panded watch­faces

Google is in­tro­duc­ing a new sys­tem called ‘com­pli­ca­tions’, which en­ables apps to in­ter­face di­rectly with watch­faces to bring you the data you need in an in­stant. While the name might be a lit­tle pre­scient – there’s sure to be a bit of in­fight­ing over which apps can put things in which places – it’ll add a new level of in­ter­ac­tiv­ity and use­ful­ness with each wrist raise.

It’s here!

LG’s Watch Style and Watch Sport are the first two Wear 2.0 de­vices to hit the high street. Stacks more are set to fol­low, and the up­graded OS will roll out to a num­ber of older de­vices, too. Don’t ex­pect it on ev­ery­thing – the orig­i­nal Moto360 won’t get it, for ex­am­ple, though it’s set to hit the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion model.

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