What is Android Wear
Google has now released its third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 and it comes with a big update. Now, you’ll be able to access the Play Store natively from your (flashed) smartwatch.
Features of Android Wear
Android Wear voice recognition
While swipes and other gestures are arguably the main way you’ll interact with Android Wear, you can also use voice commands. All Android Wear smartwatches respond to the simple voice command “Okay, Google.” For this simple phrase to work, you’ll have to illuminate the watch first. This prevents innocent strangers -or more likely, no good pranksters- from hijacking your smartwatch.
Android Wear compatibility and phone-free use
Android Wear is compatible with phones running Android 4.3 or above. It even has limited iOS compatibility, for iOS 8.2 or above. However, currently only the Asus ZenWatch 2, Huawei Watch, Fossil Q Founder, LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360 (2015), Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 Sport and Tag Heuer Connected work with iOS and even then the functionality is far more limited than when paired to an Android phone, as while you’ll be able to get notifications on your wrist you can’t typically interact with them.
Android Wear watches
While Android Wear software is uniform across devices the hardware can vary quite a lot. Screens can be square or circular and smartwatch designs range from fitness-focused to smart and classy.
Android Wear apps
Android Wear has grown a lot since its launch and while the number of apps can’t rival standard Android there are thousands available. These cover numerous categories and include wrist-worn versions of many favorites, such as Spotify, Citymapper, Duolingo, Tinder, Uber and Evernote. You’ll also find many of the core Google apps, such as Play Music, Hangouts, Google Maps and Google Translate.
Android Wear fitness
One of the key app categories on Android Wear is fitness, which is unsurprising since smartwatches have fitness bands and running watches to compete with.