As one of the biggest companies in the world, Google was all but forced to jump on the new hot thing, which at that time were wearable gadgets. Those that have decided to forfeit purchasing an Apple Watch in favor of the Google alternative, the Android Wear smartwatch, have begun to regret their decision. While some are utterly mad about their purchase, some are just confused in regards to the justification of Android Wear prices. The Google smartwatch fails to showcase its value in an easy to understand way for regular users. The problem here is not related to the specifications or design of the watch, both being quite sound and appreciated on the market, but rather to the software used to power the gadget. It is a common concern in the Android Wear community that Google’s smartwatch OS isn’t up to par with its competitors.
That is by no means saying that Android Wear has no functions. The watch has multiple capabilities, with a few standing out. So far, those that have bought the device are inclined to praise the fitness and notifications functions, with not much else left. At first glance it might seem that the device is lacking, but tech savvy consumers know that Android Wear is actually hiding its true potential through a lacking operating system. The implementation of Tasker add-ons open the Google smartwatch to endless resources of improvement.
And so enters Android Wear 2.0. Google’s I/O 2016 event was the first place where we learned about the company’s plans for Android Wear 2.0 and the features that it will bring. There are massive improvements heading your way if you own a Google smartwatch, so let’s see what you can expect from the platform upgrade. To bring us all these goodies, Google has introduced its wearable gadget community to Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 4.
Google recognized the inconvenience produced by having to constantly sign in with your credentials on the smartwatch in order to access various services. On Android Wear 2.0, users will be able to sign in with just one tap when it comes to using Google credentials. Google’s focus here was to remove the necessity of using smartphones for this process out of the equation.
Beforehand, Android Wear users were required to once again switch to their paired smartphones when they wanted to conduct in-app billing. With the Android Wear 2.0 Preview 4 update, Google further emphasizes the reduced necessity of pulling out your phone, this time when making in-app purchases. Developers for Android Wear will be able to add in-app transaction starting with Android Wear 2.0, facilitating the process tremendously.
Return of the Swipe
Early previews of Android Wear used to include a swipe gesture feature. This would allow users to close applications and perform other similar tasks through a simple swipe gesture. The feature was well received during its inception, but for some reason it has been scrapped from the final build. It looks like it has made a return and will be featured in the next final build of Android Wear. There is a catch to this, however. Up until now, the physical hardware button located on the watch was the one given “back” duties, as it allowed developers to intercept the function. With the new swipe implementations, it seems that the physical button will be for the Power function.
We are seeing an interesting evolution of the smartwatch industry, with developers obviously wanting to improve and get involved in the branch but giving off the sentiment of reluctance towards definitive commitment, cause by uncertainty of results. This causes the wearable market to take a slower pace in comparison with other gadget markets that are booming.
It’s still pretty early to discuss the potential impact of Android Wear 2.0 on the wearable device market since the earliest possible release will be in 2017. The good news is that we’re looking at a first half of 2017 release date, and with the New Year right around the corner, the release could be sooner than expected. It is understandable how some might be too anxious to try out all the new features that come with Android Wear 2.0. If you find yourself among that group of users, you could always try out the beta firmware. By navigating to the appropriate web page, you can sign up into Google’s Developer Preview program which would grant you access to the beta version of Android Wear 2.0.