Android Wear 2.0 detaches smartwatches from requiring a phone

Image: brittany herbert/ mashable

It’s been pretty quiet on Google’s Android Wear smartwatch front, but the stillnes has finally been broken.

Google announced Android Wear 2.0 at its annual I/ O developer conference on Wednesday and it’s chock full of new features. Most importantly, Android Wear no longer must be tethered to a smartphone.

Launching this autumn, Android Wear 2.0 apps will work even when your phone is not connected merely connect right to Wi-Fi networks inducing Android Wear smartwatches more useful in any location.

Android Wear are enabled to sync data regarding multiple apps. For instance, you are able to sync the calories you’ve burned on a run away from one app with the distance tracking from another app.

The new Fit Platform Activity Recognition API is pretty cool, too. Android Wear 2.0 automatically sees when you’re walk-to or working or cycling and fires up the right app( like Strava for cycling) to start tracking.

Any app can also be turned into a complication widget and placed on the watch face.

In addition, apps can be launched directly from the watch face. Google showed a video of a athlete launching Spotify use this method.

The new wearable OS also has new features like smart reply, better hand-writing recognition and even a QWERTY keyboard( runs like Swype ).

Installing apps is also an easier affair on Android 2.0 you can connect right to Wi-Fi networks and download apps without requiring a phone.

Android Wear smartwatches with built-in LTE such as LG’s Watch Urbane LTE can also download data via cellular network so apps like Spotify will also work without needing a phone.

Last year, Google announced Android Wear had over 4,000 apps from a year ago.

In April, Google unveiled MODE bands, a new type of watch band with a “snap-and-go” mechanism designed to make it easier to switching up styles.

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