Google has announced a new version of its Android Wear operating system.
Android Wear 2.0 now offers a more dynamic watch face interface that allows quick access to favorite apps, and offers alerts like fitness goal progress and appointments from the user’s calendar; and with cellular support, it lets the user make calls and respond to messages at any time, even supporting voice dictation for the latter. The platform also features greater biometric support for fitness tracking, with the ability to leverage compatible smartwatch sensors to track pace, heart rate, calories burned, and more.
One such compatible smartwatch is the new LG Watch Sport, which also features NFC support for Android Pay mPayments. It and the more designed-focused LG Watch Style were both developed in collaboration with Google, and come pre-loaded with Android Wear 2.0, which means they both also feature Google Assistant, Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.
While smartwatches still haven’t caught on as mainstream devices along the lines of, for example, the iPhone, Google’s and LG’s latest efforts indicate that they’re a device category that is here to stay, and highlight the growing importance of sophisticated technologies like biometrics and voice-based AI in everyday consumer electronics.