Google has introduced Android Wear 2.0, the latest version of its operating system for wearables such as smartwatches and fitness trackers. The update means devices can manage more tasks on their own, without relying on a connected smartphone.
The Google Play app store is available directly from the device, and users can add app features to the home screen of the device, such as calendar alerts, fitness goals or news.
Android Wear 2.0 also brings the Google Assistant to the wrist, so users can reply to a message, set a reminder or ask for directions through voice commands.
They can respond to messages by dictating a response, or handwriting the answer on the screen in apps like Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, Telegram or WhatsApp. With the new the Smart Reply feature, the device can intelligently suggest different responses based on the message received.
The LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style will be the first to run Android Wear 2.0. The smartwatches will start their global roll-out in the US 10 February, to be followed by markets in Europe and Asia later this month.
Google said that will include carriers and retailers in Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE and UK in the coming weeks. In addition, Android Wear 2.0 will roll out as an update to some existing smartwatches, such as the Asus ZenWatch 2 & 3, Huawei Watch, LG G Watch R and Watch Urbane, Moto 360 and Tag Heuer Connected.
The LG watches feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, circular displays and a rotating side button for scrolling through apps or messages.
The Sport Watch comes with GPS and LTE connectivity, allowing it to run more apps without a phone, as well as support for Android Pay and updated Google Fit app.
The watch features a 1.38-inch P-OLED display, Gorilla Glass 3 and a dust and water resistance rating of IP68. The smaller Watch Style has a 10.79mm thick case and IP67 rating and will be available in a choice of three colours.
AT&T announced it will offer the LG Watch Sport for USD 49.99 with a two-year contract when customers purchases a LG G5 or V20 smartphone. As a standalone device, the watch costs USD 17.50 per month for 20 months for AT&T service customers.
Verizon is offering the Watch Sport for USD 329.99. It also has an exclusive on the new Wear24 watch, available next month for USD 299.99 with a two-year contract.