A big update to Google's Android Wear will make fitness tracking easier

Fitness apps will start automatically, and users can respond to messages with machine learning-based replies

Android Wear, Google’s operating system for smartwatches, is getting its biggest update yet with an upcoming 2.0 release that brings improved features for messaging and fitness.

Among the improvements, Android Wear 2.0 will detect when you're starting to exercise and automatically fire up an app such as Strava. That means you can start jogging or cycling and not worry about remembering to turning on the app.

Google is also taking aim at how the Apple Watch displays information from applications, by allowing developers to display information from any app when users glance at their device.

That’s important for helping people to quickly see data from apps they use frequently.

People who want to converse with friends from their wrists will also get new features, including a redesigned keyboard, support for handwriting recognition, and smart replies that offer machine learning-driven responses based on the context of a conversation.

The updates, shown at Google I/O Wednesday, could help make Android Wear more appealing to users who've so far have stayed out of the smartwatch world. At a time when smartwatches are still a niche item, that could be useful for Google.

With Android Wear 2.0, developers can also create standalone apps that directly access the cloud when an Internet connection is available. Watches can connect to the internet using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular data -- which could encourage people to buy watches that support cellular connections.

A direct Internet connection also means people on a run or a bike ride without their phone will have an easier time sending messages and using other functions.

Developers can start using the Android Wear 2.0 beta now, and Google will launch a consumer release of the update later this year.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleGoogle I/O 2016

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?