• 05.18.16

Google teaches smartwatches some new tricks with Android Wear 2.0

The company announced a range of improvements to Android Wear, its wearables OS, here at Google I/O. Together, these should make wearing smartwatches from Samsung, LG, and Motorola slightly more fun.

• Android Wear apps can now access the Internet directly over Bluetooth, WiFi, or cellular. This will greatly reduce wearables’ dependence on a paired smartphone.

• Wear devices will have a new notification design and app launcher.

• Wear app developers will be able to use more of Google’s Material Design tools, which will make wearables apps look cleaner and prettier.

• Developers will be able to make their apps show data as complications–small bits of data on the watch face.  

• Wearable users will soon be able to use keyboard and handwriting input to communicate with apps.

The new version of Wear will be released this fall, Google says.MS