Google has spent several extra months working on the new Android Wear 2.0 update after delaying its release last year. Now, the latest version of Google's wearable platform has officially debuted on two new smartwatches.
With these recent moves, many would ask if Google has done what it needed in order to make smartwatches work. Some might argue that the company didn't do much, but Google has definitely fixed several things in the Android Wear 2.0.
According to Extreme Tech, Google is cleaning up the way apps should work on the Android Wear in the v2.0 refresh. Previously, the apps that users installed on their phone that featured Wear components would just automatically sync over, whether you wanted them to or not.
With the Android 2.0, you can now go into the new on-watch Play Store client and choose which ones you want to be installed. In addition, the on-watch Play Store lets you find independent apps for your watch that won't need a companion app on the phone.
On the negative side, the notification management is one of the most important functions of any smartwatch, and Google has clearly made some big mistakes with the Android 2.0. According to Express UK, one of the most problematic things about the Wear 2.0 beta was the clunky notifications that looked unbundled, and sadly, Google wasn't able to fix that.
Google has also slapped a full keyboard on a watch and called it a day without making any necessary changes to make it convenient to users. When sending messages, you can still use voice input on the smartwatch. But now, getting a keyboard is an option. Users can also tap the letters or use swipe input. Unfortunately, neither one works very well at all.
Despite its positives, overall, it's pretty clear that Google is taking wearables in the wrong direction, attempting to turn their smartwatch into a more powerful, standalone device. Instead, they should be focused on working on to perfect the smartwatch as a phone accessory.