There’s usually a big risk in buying into first generation tech. That was true with Android Wear smartwatches — the original operating system wasn’t great, requiring a huge number of taps and swipes to get something done. Fortunately, Android Wear 2.0 brought a lot of refinements, plus new dials that make those digital watch faces a lot more useful.
With OS updates come the anxiety that owners of older hardware will get left behind, but that won’t be the case here. Google had a long list of watches that would be seeing the 2.0 update early this year, a list that included the Q Wander, Q Marshal, and Q Founder 2.0. All three of those watches will get the 2.0 update this week.
Besides simplifying menus, the 2.0 update introduces watch dials that can be added to the face. These dials are app-specific, and can be created by developers to help you control music, respond to messages, or simply launch an app faster. Speaking of apps, 2.0 won’t rely on smartphones for them — Google has added a version of the Play Store to Android Wear, helping more watches be useful even without a smartphone. The new Google Assistant voice-activated digital assistant is also in the update. And, here’s the best one of all — Google has made some tweaks to improve battery life. Anything to get those things to last the day!