With general interest in Android Wear flagging, especially from manufacturers, Google are trying to hype it back up. We saw the release of Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 4 the other day, and today Google has expanded on that on their blog showing off a few of the standalone apps that will arrive with Android Wear 2.0.
It is unknown just when Android Wear 2.0 will arrive but it will enable users of Wear smartwatches (on both Android and iOS) to “search, install and use apps without ever leaving their device”.
Using new APIs, the app Glide is able to live broadcast from the watch face. What this means is that you can go directly into a conversation from a contact shortcut on the watch face. While it sounds great I suspect you would have to have their watch face as your standard watch face. And what if you wanted a different conversation? To me their statement “speed and intimacy to the world of messaging, making wrist-based communication more accessible and effortless” seems a bit of a stretch.
Foursquare is apparently still used by many travelers and their new Android Wear 2.0 app will bring a “clean new canvas for rich notifications giving users an immersive experience with Foursquare content”. For users who do use Foursquare the new 2.0 app will help them search faster and spend less time looking at the screen itself which would be a definite plus.
Lifesum is the third app Google are showing off on their blog. It is a health app incorporating diet and exercise choices. The new 2.0 app will allow users to more easily track water and meals throughout the day. I am assuming this means it is allowing the user to enter that data directly from the watch itself. This is one idea I really like and can see where it would be handy. Next step hopefully would be to be able to record exercise there – eg. sets, reps etc.
In showing off 3 different applications and how they will run on Android Wear 2.0 Google is attempting to build a bit interest in Android Wear 2.0, both in developers, watchmakers and end users like us. For me, these apps don’t perhaps showcase the new features quite as well as they could, but these aren’t apps that I regularly use.
In our opinion, Google needs to do a bit more to really drive Android Wear back to the forefront of people’s minds. Let’s hope they get there.