Google will launch the new version of the Android Wear OS for smart watches and other wearable devices in February. The company has co-operated with LG to ensure that two smart watches will run the new OS once it launches: LG Watch Sport and Watch Style.
LG is one of the pioneers of Android-based smart watches. LG G Watch was one of the first watches running Android Wear, and the R edition the first round smart watch on the market. The stylish LG Watch Urbane was released two years ago and the second generation Urbane watches last year. It’s, therefore, logical that Google has partnered with LG in terms of wearable development, especially since Apple and Samsung employ their own in-house developed smart watch operating systems.
The sports model LG Watch Sport features a metallic body with rubber straps. The screen measures 1.38-inch diagonally. The battery has a capacity of 430 mAh.
The smaller and classical-looking LG Watch Style features a 1.2-inch screen with a pixel density of 129,600 px. The smaller size affects the battery capacity and also the power needs. Watch Style’s battery capacity is, therefore, modest at 240 mAh.
Both models carry IP68 environmental protection certifications.
Android Wear 2.0
The Android operating system for smartphones and tablets has experienced rapid development with several major releases in recent years. The latest Android Nougat version is the seventh generation of the OS. Android Wear, which is used as OS by many wearable device makers, is still on the first generation despite having been around for many years. Hence, the second generation 2.0 scheduled for an early February release is obviously well overdue.
Google released the final developer preview this week. This implies that developers now have access to a stable OS and can start submitting apps to the Google Play store.
The new Android Wear 2.0 OS interestingly enough offers improved iOS support that will delight iPhone users. The main highlights of the new OS are
- intelligent recognition of the type of activity performed and subsequently tailored apps for this activity
- support for standalone apps that don’t require an accompanying device. The newly released Samsung Gear S3 Frontier LTE already works as standalone watch although it’s not powered by Android Wear as well as LG Watch Urbane 2.
- improved notifications
- material design applied to user interface components such as icons and menus.
LG will announce the new LG Watches on the 9th of February and they will go on sale the day after. The company hasn’t confirmed the details about the international roll-out yet.
Google will also announce Android Wear 2.0 on February 9th.
Other smart watch vendors like Casio and ZTE will release Android Wear 2.0 compatible watches in the first half of 2017.