We did a series of tests with Android 2.0 Wear, and we decided to write this article telling how was our experience. We use as the basis of a smartphone from Huawei, and the clock ran the Developer Preview version of our system. The new Android shows interesting potential for wearable, which will give a second chance to the older watches.
- These are the smartwatches that will receive the Android 2.0 Wear
Note: the Android 2.0 already Wear was released by Google. Even some watches were launched at MWC running with Android 2.0 Wear factory, like the LG Watch Sport and Style. Even if a trial version, the Developer Preview gives us a preview on all the main features present in the new OS.
From 2014, many manufacturers are developing smart watches, like Apple. Unfortunately, these devices have not become popular as manufacturers initially expected. The reason? The battery life is low, the clocks are limited when not paired with any smartphone and, in the case of Android Wear, many of these accessories proved inefficient.
The developers of Android 2.0 heard numerous criticisms and Wear have developed a system, like a strong response. We should not expect any miracles, but rather a system optimized. The new Wear can still give survival watches we know, especially the older ones.
What makes Android 2.0 Wear special?
Google wants to make smartwatches less dependent on smartphones. This is especially useful for users of iPhones, since Android models running on the new system will become more beneficial and less dependent on iOS. The notification interface, for example, is not compatible with iOS, which is not an advantage from the user’s point of view. Samsung made your own way with the Citizen, which is optimized in Gear S3 and has a most comprehensive app for iOS.
Old and new models will benefit from Android 2.0, especially those who Wear include speaker, GPS and Wi-Fi. All will gain a certain level of independence.
New features were added to the Wear, and not in the form of a major update. Users can have more control over the apps installed, as we will discuss below.
Play Store, now on your wrist
For the first time, you can install applications and games on the clock without the help of the smartphone. Keyboards, messengers and other apps will be compatible in the Play version Store for Android Wear 2.0. The apps, as a matter of fact, now are in a drawer, the commands in alphabetical order and also has a favorite Guide.
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During the tests, the Play Store proved efficient and behaved like the version we have on mobile phones. The user is notified about available updates. If you install an app compatible with the Wear on your smartphone, you will also be notified about it, since the clock will instruct you how to install the app on the clock.
A possible disadvantage is that the system will not automatically install useful apps on the clock and that are compatible, such as Google Maps. Before, the Maps came installed on Wear, but, now, the user will have control over what he wants installed on your smartwatch clock. This is the idea of Android 2.0, Wear the clock always make more independent.
You won’t tell more with the voice command “Ok, Google” on Wear 2.0. Now, you can activate the Google Wizard from a tap for a few seconds in a physical button. The wizard is still not up to our expectations at the time, and understand a few voice commands. But, it is likely that the same is optimized according to the use or through ad hoc updates.
A feature that I found very interesting in the new system are the new dials. In the main menu you can find two new dials of watches from Android 2.0 Wear. Each option has four internal circles, which can be customized by users. That’s a little exciting at first, but you can stay as you go.
What will be displayed in those circles is the user and the application developers. A new programming interface was released to developers, who can give life to these circles as the widgets system for smartphones. Detailed data and information are displayed individually in a single interface.
The user can do a number of customizations and adjust the clock interface to your use. For work it is possible to leave the details of sample agenda, calendar and email box. You can customize a second interface with details about the timing or any other application that conte steps, for example. All information is updated in real time.
Android 2.0 Wear also has been optimized as the speed. Now, we have more information for less time at our disposal. The quick controls is a good example of this, since now we have five shortcuts to settings in a single screen, rather than one per screen, as was the case with the previous version of the system.
The notifications were also more intuitive and display more information and interaction modes. There is even a keyboard to answer messages through the screen of the watch. Android Wear 2.0 is compatible with third-party keyboards, that will give the user access to more emojis. The keyboard works in typing mode “and” slide “. Both work with enough precision and are less problematic than expected, due to the small space of the screen.
Some readers questioned me about the update and battery life. The only answer I can give at this point is: it depends. I personally have not noticed any difference between the new version and the old in the sense of durability of the battery, even using always-on display mode for longer.
In moderate use, you can reach up to 36 hours of use with the clock running this version of the system. The installation was done cleanly, with the previous data removed and deleted. The clock was connected via Wi-Fi, but also Bluetooth in a few moments.
Android 2.0 Wear is an excellent upgrade, especially for older models. In many aspects of the system we noticed that there was an effort in the development of the interface, which displays more details and is loved practice. It’s not enough, but it’s a good step.
Finally, we can wait for a generation of smart smartwatches and easier to use, and more functional. The optimized and also by the arrival of the stand-alone, we can count on more independent of cell phone watches and not stay limited to vibrate to notify the user about missed calls. With the 2.0, Wear watches with Android will become a more interesting option.
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