With smartphones, people have shown that a computer in their pocket is a necessity. But what about a computer on your wrist? People still aren’t convinced, yet. But that hasn’t stopped Google from updating its Android Wear platform.

Wearables have struggled with mass adoption, but Google and Apple haven’t stopped pushing their smart watch lineups. Six months after Apples 2.0 release, Android has returned fire with the introduction of Android Wear 2.0. Keep reading to find out if 2.0 is worth the investment.

Built around third-party smartwatches, the Android Wear platform allows consumers to choose from traditional and modern designs. With their website hosting 19 choices –from high end designers like Michael Kors to well-known technology manufacturers like LG– the Android Wear hardware is meant to cater to a diverse clientele!

Android Wear 2.0 watch

The Android Wear 2.0 Software

Before you think about smartwatch style and comfort, you should know about the software update itself. And, the software happens to be where Android 2.0 really shakes things up!

No, Android Wear 2.0 does not magically deliver the power and function of a smartphone in a wrist-sized package (perhaps one day). But, it does significantly improve upon the functions of smartwatches.

Built as smartphone companions, smartwatches ease the process of many smartphone functions, such as fitness tracking, displaying notifications, and checking the weather. Android Wear 2.0 takes this compatibility to the next level.

Google advertises the platform as:

Make the most of every minute

Regular watches only have one watch face, the one that was built in. Android Wear 2.0 breaks that mold with more personalized watch faces that can display information from the applications that matter to you. This simplifies the process of ordering an Uber or beginning a workout by a couple steps, a modest, but convenient advancement.

Complementing the multiple watch faces is the integration of Google Assistant. First debuted on Google Pixel, Google Assistnat is being baked into Wear 2.0 to allow for more hands-free, voice activated actions.

Android Wear 2.0 Google Assistant

Android Wear 2.0 isn’t only about shortcuts around specific functions. The biggest new player is the support for LTE.

Despite it not being complete untethering, LTE support allows for some functions to be done while leaving your phone elsewhere. Forgetting your phone at home isn’t as scary now with the introduction of LTE.

In case you were wondering about the increased functionality, LTE’s introduction allows for calling, reading/responding to messages, weather checking, fitness, Uber, and Android Pay, all from your smartwatch.

It might be possible to make it through your day phone-free after all! LTE breathes a breath of fresh air into how far a smartwatch can go, although not all smartwatches have the technology required for this feature.

Android Wear 2.0 messaging

The Hardware

Software updates such as iOS or Android are always supported with hardware updates or refreshes, and Android Wear 2.0 is no different. Paired along with this update is the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.

Although not an official flagship device, the LG Watch Sport is the watch that has the hardware to execute all the features mentioned above. Yes, this means the fantasy of remotely making a call while paying for your coffee can finally be achieved… you know, if that’s your sort of thing.

LG Watch Sport

Android Wear 2.0 LG Sport

Here are the internals, with the watch setting your bank account back $349.
• 1.38-inch P-OLED, 480 x 480 pixel display
• Ambient light sensor
• 316L stainless steel
• Gorilla Glass 3
• Thermoplastic Polyurethane strap
• 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor
• 768MB RAM
• 4GB storage
• 430mAh battery
• Wi-Fi
• Bluetooth
• GPS
• NFC (for Android Pay)
• IP68 dust and water resistant

LG Watch Style

In contrast to all the technology crammed into the Watch Sport, the LG Watch Style is simple and elegant.

Android Wear 2.0 LG-Style

For $249, you get:
• 1.2-inch P-OLED, 360 x 360 pixel display
• Ambient light sensor
• 316L stainless steel
• Gorilla Glass 3
• 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor
• 512MB RAM
• 4GB storage
• 240mAh battery
• Wi-Fi
• Bluetooth
• IP67 dust and water resistance

Nifty Yet Niche

These two new watches aren’t the only ones with the Android Wear update though, as supported devices will be available for purchase in the coming weeks. If you want LTE and all the other goodies, we’d recommend the LG Watch Sport.

Wear 2.0 is no revolutionary reinvention of the smartwatch; rather, it is an incremental update designed to directly compete with the functionality and usability of Apple Watch 2.

Smartwatches, as cool as they are, still occupy a niche market. While the update gave us two new watches filled with new features, it still appears to be a nifty yet niche piece of tech.

Still interested in Android development? We happen to do that at Seamgen. Check out our Android services and successful apps we’ve created.

Thanks for Reading!

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