If you are skeptical about smartwatches, Android Wear 2.0 release may change your point of view. Sounds doubtful? Well, let’s see.
For a long time Android smartwatches were on the sidelines of smartphones because many considered it as a niche device for runners and performance geeks. Very few people were interested in buying it as a separate gadget because smartwatches only have being paired with phones. But with the release of Android 2.0 update smartwatches are becoming mature and standalone devices.
Android Wear 2.0 Update Features
The first and foremost update is the ability to install applications directly on wearables and run them without a phone. It provides the ability to create new solutions that become a real value for B2B and B2C customers.
This has already been used in new LG smartwatch that has its own computing capacity and can work without phone’s software.
Industries and Benefits:
- Mobile Medicine: Real-time healthcare monitoring and tracking app with the option to send data to the doctor during the workout.
- Logistics: cheaper B2B app (compared to VR systems) to navigate workers around a warehouse.
- Music Streaming: Music streaming giants, like SoundCloud and Spotify, leverage from mobile users, while there’s a smartwatches market waiting to be conquered.
Moreover, Google Play Market is now available on watches. Now, owners of gadgets can download apps directly to their devices. Naturally, it is not really convenient to look for the right program using a small screen the smartwatches have, so Google made it possible to install apps on your watch remotely – using desktop interface.
For mobile apps developers and owners, it is a chance to reach wider audience, create additional paid options and updates. Android Wear self-sufficiency will allow developers to create full-featured versions of their apps and sell them separately on Google Play Market.
By the way, over the last year, only Android Wear App has been downloaded more than 5 million times.
Watch Faces after Android update
- Simple Navigation: You can now swipe through the faces on your smartwatch. This method makes the navigation process easier on small smartwatches’ screen and by making it more user-friendly – attracts more audience.
- Complications: Finally! Developers of third-party apps can display additional information right on the home screens of Android wearables. This option will significantly improve system UX and reduce users’ flow from the hold screen to the app.
- Customization: Apart from mentioned above, Android Wear 2.0 offers the ability to create and download new watch faces from Google Play Market.
Monetization Tip: In 2016 over 101.9 million wearables were sold (IDC statistics). Selling custom watch faces is a convenient way to test smartwatches apps market demand.
Google Fit and Alternatives
Despite the fact that the new Android Wear comes with preinstalled Google Fit, there is always the possibility to create something better. For example, we, in GBKSOFT, have developed fitness app with remote coaching function.
The app allows you to train and engage with a trainer without necessity to visit the gym, but yet retain the same level of motivation as with personal coach.
Features we’ve Integrated into Fitness App:
- Fitness goals.
- Flexible search options.
- Booking system.
- Paypal, credit card payment system.
- Live video broadcasting.
- Video streaming.
- Health data pulling from Apple Watch
- Health data pulling from Samsung Gear
- Health data pulling from Android Wear
Calls & Messages
From now on smartwatches with cellular connectivity and new android wear version is capable of making calls and sending messages even without phone. The first device with such powerful hardware would be LG Watch Sport, maybe the best android smartwatch ever developed.
But the messaging option wouldn’t become such a great feature without a new set of interaction methods.
Methods to respond your message:
- Google Assistant.
- Typing using on-screen keyboard.
Another great feature that comes with Android Wear update is the ability to display notifications from third-party apps. Android Wear makes it possible to directly interact with the targeted audience and personalize messages to each customer.
How Business can Leverage from Smartwatch Notifications:
- eCommerce – Update users on new positions and available items in your store
- Logistics – Alarm your customers on delivery or status of sent item
- HoReCa – Send discounts, coupons and bonuses to loyal clients
- Madia – Keep your customers up to date on your newsfeed.
Development Tip: In order to display notifications on Android watch, developers may now use the same class as for phones development: NotificationCompat.Builder. The system takes care of displaying notifications properly, both on phone or wearable.
Voice Control Capabilities
The complexity of interaction with smartwatches has always been among the limiting factors. This is primarily due to wearables small size. Google Developers are well aware of this problem and that is why they improved voice control in new watch update.
Now, along with the system-provided action and “Ok Google”, developers can add their own set of voice commands to the application. All of custom voice commands will begin with the word “Start”. For example, “Start my doctor monitor” will start sending health statistics to your doctor.
While 2017 is considered to become a year of voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo, the integration of voice control is an opportunity that can not be missed.
Voice Control Statistics: 39% of smartphone owners use voice recognition software (360 View: Mobility and the App Economy study).
Android Wear 2.0 also has the option of payment directly via smartwatch Near-field communication module (NFC). With this feature, devices can act as electronic identity documents and keycards. For instance, we can process PayPal payments directly from the watch.
We Can Integrate NFC Functionality into your App:
- Client personal keys for car rental.
- Native apps for quick customer authorization in gyms.
- Bonus-holders and promo code scanners for HoReCa market.
The last but not the least feature of Android Wear 2.0 is the ability to pair smartwatches with iPhone. And this means that native iOS Apps can be paired with Android smartwatches. For business owners this is an opportunity to widen their audience.
iPhone Usage Statistics: In 2016 over 90 million people used iPhone (Statista).
Android Wear 2.0 update was presented on Google I/O 2016. Currently, new Android Wear OS is in preview mode and can be run on two devices: Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE.
The Android wear release date is still uncertain, but there is already the list of smartwatches that will support it.
Watches that Support Android Wear 2.0
- ASUS ZenWatch 2;
- ASUS ZenWatch 3;
- Casio Smart Outdoor Watch;
- Casio PRO TREK Smart;
- Fossil Q Founder;
- Fossil Q Marshal;
- Fossil Q Wander;
- Huawei Watch;
- LG G Watch R;
- LG Watch Urbane;
- LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE;
- Michael Kors Access Smartwatches;
- Moto 360 second edition;
- Moto 360 for Women;
- Moto 360 Sport;
- New Balance RunIQ;
- Nixon Mission;
- Polar M600;
- Tag Heuer Connected.
By the way, those who already have an idea for new smartwatches app can start the development process. Google has already published all the manuals and guidelines for app developers. This step allows us to start development process right now and release new smartwatch app just in line with the official Android Wear update.
Want to create your own Android Wear app? Contact us and we’ll get to work!