Google has officially launched the Android Wear 2.0 platform alongside the first two smartwatches: LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport.
The updated platform offers new personalization options with smarter watch faces, and an app store that is accessible directly on your wrist. Also included are new, easier ways to respond to messages without the phone — you can respond by dictating, typing or handwriting your answer, or drawing an emoji.
In addition, Google Assistant — which is an improved version of Google Now — is now preloaded on the watch, enabling users to do a lot more, again, without their smartphones. Just hold down the power button on the watch or say "Ok Google" to start the Assistant.
Finally, and this is the part we care about the most, Google Fit for Android Wear has been updated to go beyond basic exercise tracking. It now lets you track your pace, distance, calories burned and heart rate as you're walking, running or cycling. You can also measure weight-lifting reps, in addition to push-ups, sit-ups and squats. When you work out with a cellular-connected Android Wear watch, you can stay in touch with calls and messages, stream tunes from Google Play Music and still use your favorite apps right on your watch.
As for the first Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches, the LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport, they are both designed in collaboration with Google. The former is thin and light (it lacks a heart rate sensor), and available in three classic designs and finishes: silver, rose gold and titanium. It is compatible with snap-and-swap 18mm leather and silicone bands out of the box, so you can quickly switch bands to match your look or the occasion. The rotating power button lets you easily scroll through your stream, bring up the app launcher, or access your Google Assistant.
The LG Watch Sport, on the other hand, comes with a high performance elastomer strap, NFC for payments, GPS for tracking exercise and navigation, a heart rate sensor for your workouts, and cellular connectivity. Available in titanium and dark blue, it also has dedicated buttons for Google Fit and Android Pay, plus a rotating power button.
Starting February 10, you can find LG Watch Style at Best Buy and the Google Store and the LG Watch Sport at AT&T and Verizon. These watches will be available at carriers and retailers across Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE and U.K. in the coming weeks.
Android Wear 2.0 will be available for all supported Android Wear watches in the coming weeks.