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Android Wear 2.0: all the features and update news

Update: Fossil update coming this month

Android Wear 2.0 was showcased at Google I/O in May 2016 and it started rolling out to smartwatches in February. Below you will find out all you need to know about the second version of the Android Wear operating system, including when to expect the update for each manufacturer. The latest news is that all Fossil devices will receive the update in March.

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Asus Casio Fossil Huawei
LG Michael Kors Motorola (Lenovo) New Balance
Nixon Polar Samsung Sony
Tag Heuer      

 

Android Wear 2.0 unveiled

The biggest release for Android Wear yet, version 2.0, brings a more refined approach from Google, narrowing down its aspirations for the technology. An Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview is available already, and in its fifth version since January 2017. Find out how you can get the Developer Preview up and running over at the Google Android Wear Developers page

We gave Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview a test run with the futuristic Huawei Watch. Check out the video below to hear our thoughts and see the new version of the OS in action.

Most notably, Android Wear 2.0 can run standalone apps, meaning the watch doesn't need to be in range of a smartphone for an app to work. This makes Android Wear more independent, striking out from the impression people have of smartwatches being expensive and unnecessary smartphone accessories.

With cellular support, Android Wear 2.0 lets you make calls, use OK Google, and more without relying on your phone being nearby. Not only that, the latest update to smartwatches brings support for Google Assistant, which we first saw with the release of its Pixel smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, in addition to Android Pay.

google android wear 2 0 watch face complications
Complications, features showing data from apps, can now be shown on any watch face. / © Google

Messaging saw an improvement through handwriting recognition, smart reply, and a swipe-enabled keyboard. Google placed many of its products at I/O under the umbrella of its machine learning expertise, and here things are no different. All three of these input methods are held up by Google's AI. And, although a keyboard may seem a poor choice of input on a screen so small, Google hopes that its machine learning algorithms are powerful enough to predict the words you want based on just the first letter or two that you enter.

google android wear 2 0 input methods
The three messaging input methods on Android Wear 2.0. / © Google

When it comes to fitness, Google is providing interaction between fitness apps through the Google Fit API. This effectively allows apps to exchange information, such as calories burned and consumed, creating a more holistic experience. There's also activity recognition, so when you begin running, this can automatically be detected by a running app, which can begin timing your run, or counting your calories burned, for example.

There's also a Material Design overhaul of the Android Wear interface. This can be seen immediately in how notifications appear.

google android wear 2 0 material design notifications
Android Wear 2.0 sees a Material Design visual overhaul. / © Google

When is my smartwatch getting the Android Wear 2.0 update?

Newer smartwatches like the LG Watch Sport and Watch Style and the Huawei Watch 2 are shipping with Android Wear 2.0, but many older smartwatches will get the update as well. Android Wear 2.0's features will breathe new life into older smartwatches starting in February 2017 when the roll out begins. The OTA updates will happen gradually throughout the year. You can find out if and when your watch is being updated below:

Asus Android Wear Update

Some older smartwatches won't be getting the update to Android Wear 2.0, and unfortunately the very first Asus ZenWatch is one of them. The update for the Asus ZenWatch 2 and 3 is planned, but we don't yet know exactly when it will be rolled out.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Asus ZenWatch Yes No
Asus ZenWatch 2 Yes Planned
Asus ZenWatch 3 Yes Planned

Casio Android Wear Update

We can expect an update for the older Casio Smart Outdoor Watch (WSD-F10), but it hasn't arrived yet. The newer one, WSD-F20, already ships with Android Wear 2.0.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Casio Smart Outdoor Watch (WSD-F10) Yes Planned
Casio Smart Outdoor Watch (WSD-F20) - Yes

Fossil Android Wear Update

The devices Fossil Q Founder, Marshal and Wander all still have the original Android Wear, but sit tight as an update to Android Wear 2.0 for all Fossil devices is expected before the end of the month.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Fossil Q Founder Yes Planned
Fossil Q Marshal Yes Planned
Fossil Q Wander Yes Planned

 

Huawei Android Wear Update

Huawei's German customer service department just posted on Twitter that the original Huawei Watch will be getting the Android Wear 2.0 update at the end of March 2017. The Huawei Watch Ladies is also planned to get Android Wear 2.0, but we don't know when. The Huawei Watch 2 will be released with the new version of Android Wear. 

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Huawei Watch Yes Planned (end of March)
Huawei Watch Ladies Yes Planned
Huawei Watch 2 - Yes

 

LG Android Wear Update

The LG Watch Sport and Style were released with Android Wear 2.0. LG has several watches which will be updated to the new version of Android Wear, including the LG G Watch R, LG Watch Urbane and LG Watch Urbane 2nd. Ed. LTE. The LG G Watch, however, will not be updated, as it is an older device.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
LG G Watch Yes No
LG G Watch R Yes Planned
LG Watch Sport - Yes
LG Watch Style - Yes
LG Watch Urbane Yes Planned
LG Watch Urbane 2nd. Ed. LTE Yes Planned
AndroidPIT lg watch sport 6572
The LG Watch Sport was released with Android Wear 2.0. / © AndroidPIT

Michael Kors Android Wear Update

The Bradshaw and Dylan Michael Kors Access smartwatches will be updated to Android Wear 2.0, but we don't have any news about when just yet. Check back soon!

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch Yes Planned
Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch Yes Planned

 

Motorola Android Wear Update

The first generation of the Moto 360 smartwatch unfortunately won't get updated to Android Wear 2.0. But, we have good news - the second generation will. The Moto 360 Sport will also be getting the update, but the exact date is unknown.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Moto 360 (1st Gen.) Yes No
Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) Yes Planned
Moto 360 Sport Yes Planned

 

New Balance Android Wear Update

The New Balance RunIQ fitness tracker watch is made for runners, but does not yet run Android Wear 2.0. The update is expected soon. We will keep you informed when a roll out date is revealed, but until then, you're stuck with Android Wear 1.5.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
New Balance RunIQ Watch Yes Planned

 

Nixon Mission Android Wear Update

For the surfers and skiers among us, rest assured, the Android Wear 2.0 update is on its way to the Nixon Mission. With 100 m of water resistance and built-in GPS, this is one of the best outdoor smartwatches, and the update to the new Android Wear will ensure you don't have to worry about upgrading anytime soon.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Nixon Mission Yes Planned

 

Polar Android Wear Update

In addition to the Android Wear 2.0 update scheduled for sometime in Q1 this year, the Polar M600 will also get new swimming metrics, making this sporty little GPS fitness watch stand out from the majority that focus on running and cycling. 

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Polar M600 Yes Planned (Q1 2017)

 

Samsung Android Wear Update

Unfortunately, the Samsung Gear Live is one of the handful of older smartwatches not getting the Android Wear 2.0 update. The popular Samsung smartwatches, Gear S3 and S2, run on Tizen, so if you're looking for an Android Wear update for those, you won't find it.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Samsung Gear Live Yes No

 

Sony Android Wear Update

The Sony Smartwatch 3 won't be getting an Android Wear 2.0 update. This smartwatch may have swayed you with its attractive specs back in the day when it was released, but there are far better (and less bulky!) smartwatches available now with Android Wear 2.0 for a good price.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Sony Smartwatch 3 Yes No

 

Tag Heuer Android Wear Update

If you own the Tag Heuer Connected, you probably spent over $1000 on it, so it would be a massive disappointment if if didn't get the update to Android Wear 2.0. But, have no fear, it's on its way. We'll let you know when to expect it as soon as we find out.

Device Android Wear Android Wear 2.0
Tag Heuer Connected Yes Planned
Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 - Yes

Does your smartwatch have Android Wear 2.0? Tell us what you think of it in the comments!

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