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How are you liking the Android Wear 2 update?

It's been about 6 months since Android Wear was updated to version 2.0. Along with the ever present promises of better battery life and performance enhancements, we got new features that included goodies like being able to install apps on the phone and use it in standalone mode with its own LTE connection. As far as updates go, it was a pretty darn good one.

Of course, two new watches appeared to kick things off. Both were from LG, but they are distinctly separate models for different kinds of users. The LG Watch Style is smaller and lacks an LTE connection and NFC. This helps keep it slimmer, and a slimmer and smaller smartwatch is something a lot of people want. The flip side is the LG Watch sport, which is not ashamed of its girth because all the bells and whistles are on board.

I've been using the LG Watch Sport for a while and here's my quick take.

The Watch

This isn't a review of the LG Watch Sport. You can read that here if you want a longer take on the watch and the features of the software. But one thing needs mentioning because it is a result of being able to support Android Wear 2's new features.

This watch is thick.

Baby's Got Back.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Just like some want a smaller and slimmer watch, there are plenty of people who love big chunky watches. And it has to be thick to fit all the new parts to include NFC and LTE in the watch body. It will take a redesign of how LG builds the familiar round diver-style watch to make it slimmer, and that is surely coming. But for LG in 2017, it had to be thick. In any case, it's not something to ignore but it's hard to complain too much because the new hardware does work well and fully supports Android Wear 2.

I thought this would bother me more than it did, even though I don't necessarily mind a big watch. But I found it wasn't as bad as I feared and after a week or so I didn't notice it at all. Whether that's a credit to LG's design team or me convincing myself to just deal with it I don't know. But I've been wearing it 20 hours a day for the past six weeks and have no problems with it.

I do like the crown and buttons on the Sport, and they make navigating the new UI changes easy. Being able to feel all three buttons is almost necessary to use the new software, especially in the dark with your watch lit up brightly.

Connectivity

I've been using my Sport on Project Fi with a data-only SIM card or with a standard T-Mobile SIM card on a legacy unlimited plan. It's worth mentioning that a Project Fi SIM gives you a great data connection and there are no restrictions on how you use that data, but you can't natively send text messages or make calls. Some have been able to use various workarounds, but don't expect it to work. Likewise, your T-Mobile plan might not apply for use with a wearable, so check with them if you have any questions.

The LTE connection can be very useful if you need to leave your phone at home but it's not a necessary feature for me.

Having said that, I don't have a need for a standalone LTE connection. I see why some folks do, but if you have your phone in your pocket all the time, it's just not something you'll be using very often. It does work well. You can look at your email or messages of social media, stream music, download apps from Google Play, or surf the web even. But if you have your phone on you and they're connected, you can do the same without an LTE connection.

Calling someone using your watch only feels like a really cool James Bond thing the first time. It's convenient but it's also very public. Rather than step away for a bit or privacy, I would reach for my phone; at least that way only one side of the conversation was loud enough to hear. If Google Assistant worked a little better, it would be great while I was driving. I'm sure Google sees the need for some improvement there.

In any case, having a data connection or making calls from a watch isn't exactly new, nor is it new to LG. It is new for Android Wear, though. And while I don't find either particularly useful, things work better than I expected for a first try. People who do find the new connectivity options a useful addition are probably more happy about that than those of us who don't, but as a tech writer, it's nice to see Google get it right the first time.

Standalone apps

I like the idea of standalone apps on the watch. I also think it was smart to forgo them in version one and wait for some more specialized internal hardware that wouldn't choke on them. If I have to worry about managing apps on my watch to keep it from lagging, I'm just not interested.

Standalone apps and the Play Store are something Google got right on the first try.

I haven't seen any serious issues with apps installed and running on the watch. Battery life takes a hit because you're doing more, but it's comparable to using apps that ran on your phone in version one of the software. If you do it a lot, that means the screen is on a lot and you put it on the charger a lot.

When you install an app on your phone that has a counterpart for your watch, you get notified that you can download and install it. You can also browse a curated and mostly text-based version of the Play Store through your watch and install apps that way. It's very simple and easy to understand, which is always a plus.

The selection isn't as robust as anyone would have hoped six months later, but there's not much you aren't able to do with your watch even if you can't use the same app you're used to using.

NFC and Android Pay

Paying for something with your phone is easy, and using your watch is even easier. Except, not really.

That's mostly because of security needs. I know the idea of walking by with a six-pack of socks or whatever you needed that day and holding up your wrist as you pass by a payment terminal sounds cool, but in reality, you don't want things to automatically pay for themselves when they are using your money. It's not difficult to use Android Pay, but it's certainly not automagic. That's a good thing.

Android Pay isn't automatic. You need to manually open the app, and that's how it should be.

For starters, you'll need to set up a PIN and unlock your watch anytime you have taken it off. It stays unlocked as long as it stays on your wrist, though. When you want to use Android Pay you'll need to open the app, let it load and hold the top of the watch near the payment terminal to pay with your default card. If you want to use a different card, you'll need to choose which one from the Android Pay app. The rest is what you're already used to if you use Android Pay, as is the hit-or-miss availability at the places you shop.

Again, Google did a good job with things and the times I've used Android Pay through my watch have all went off with nary a hitch. It is worth noting that while you can use Android Pay without having a connection to your phone, the initial setup only works when connected to a phone that supports Android Pay itself. Since this is also a security feature it's not something I'm complaining about, but some people surely feel differently.

Odds and ends

  • The "app drawer" puts recently used apps at the top of the list, which is awesome. Scrolling through the list isn't hard but seeing the handful of apps you use most on the screen together is a great touch.
  • Typing on a tiny watch screen is awkward. There is no sugar coating that.
  • Having Google Assistant on your watch would be a lot better if Google Home and your phone didn't fight with it. Google needs to fix this.
  • Using more than one Google account is surprisingly easy.
  • Android Wear 2 probably won't appeal to someone who didn't like Android Wear version one. You either want or need smart features on your watch or you don't.

Final thoughts

There are going to be some people who think NFC and watch payments or standalone connectivity finally makes having a smartwatch worth it. But I'm betting that most people who didn't find Android Wear useful last year aren't going to be won over. I find myself in the middle all around on this front. When I need to do something on my wrist or see messages without pulling out my phone, Android Wear is a great way to do just that. When I don't, I'd just as soon wear a regular "old fashioned" watch or none at all. I just don't find it any more cumbersome to pull out my phone to make a call, send a message or pay for something.

I'm not Wear's biggest fan, but I would spend money on this.

The new features all work surprisingly well. Some, like the LTE connection, are because of the hardware in part, but the software itself is well put together and the user experience may not be the most beautiful but is simple and functional. Sometimes less is more and I don't need to see high-resolution UI accents when I want information at a glance. As a part-time Android Wear user at best, I like the direction Google is moving towards with Wear and how LG has implemented them.

While it's not a necessity in my life, this is something that I can see myself spending some mad money on and wouldn't hesitate to recommend an Android watch to anyone who thinks they need it or would find it useful.

Your turn

Have you been using Android Wear 2 for a while? If so, join the discussion and tell everyone what you love, what you hate, and how well you're liking it!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

95 Comments
  • Good and bad in equal measures. The good -
    It transformed my ZenWatch 2 into a really fast and responsive watch. Notifications are nicer looking and some apps work a lot better.
    The tiny swipe Querty keyboard is surprisingly accurate IF you need to use it like somewhere you need to be a little more discreet than using voice commands The bad - many of the wrist gestures from 1.5 are gone and you can no longer reply to messages and notifications using one hand. Now you have to manually press the screen to select 'OK' and Send etc where you could just flick your wrist down toward the ground. Having to set everything on the watch instead of the AW phone app is just a pain in the butt.
    Google Assistant isn't as good as OK Google/Google Now
  • Yep, agree on all accounts
  • I notice I defer to my zenwatch2 less after the 2.0 update. I like the new app drawer and pinning of most used apps at the top but it just seems like something is missing. I feel let down I waited all that time just for this. And for whatever reason my battery tanked. It barely makes it a day where on 1.5 it lasted about 2 days.
  • I agree on the negatives and add:
    • It's slower It does not respond nearly as quickly to button presses, crown press and voice activation. There's a noticeable lag before the screen updates to reflect your action. It breaks the action-reaction illusion that's makes a UI feel responsive and reliable.
  • I agree. Not only that, they made it much less convenient to do basic tasks. Instead of being able to do two basic swipes to get from the watch face to my contacts, I have to press the button, scroll down and find contacts, and then find the contact I want. And the biggest sin in my opinion is the removal of the double tap of the button to turn off the screen.
  • "And it has to be thick to fit all the new parts to include NFC and LTE in the watch body." Apple: "...Hold my beer"
  • And that's the bugger. Apple relatively kept the same size housing but did everything an android connected watch does but at a much thicker dimension. Give this to me at half the size and twice the battery life and I'm in. Until then I'll keep looking from a far and waiting.
  • I often wonder how Pebble watches would have fared with OLED screens and two-day lifespans, instead of the e-paper screens (which required large bezels) and one-week batteries. It feels like that would have been the sweet spot that everyone's looking for. I tried a Pebble Time and didn't mind the bezels, but I didn't care for the e-paper screen. Instead, I've lived with a Moto 360 that looks great, but won't last through the day.
  • I do wonder what people are running on their moto 360s I have one and I get more than a day from it. One thing I have found is I did only use the watch at a weekend as I biked to work and had a fitness band for in the week and my watch was on charge most of the week being taken off in the Evening if I want out I found the battery did just last about a day but now I use it every day as i drive to work I now have about 60% battery left when I get home from work at 6pm I have 84% now and took it off charge at 6am this morning and it's now 12:41pm in the uk.
  • Apple: look at moi bezels!
  • Gear S3 is already miles ahead and with the Tizen update it won't even be a comparison
  • Agreed - I think Android Wear is in a tough position - if you are on android and want a watch that truly complements / replaces the functions of your phone, Samsung is lightyears ahead. And though it is early - if you value fitness functions Fitbit is making big moves there (along with the fitness products Samsung already offers). When fitbit announced their ionic everyone was asking if it will be an Apple Watch killer - when in reality the question should be if it is an Android Wear killer
  • I might be open minded to another Tizen watch then. When I had one (first generation), I thought it was rather bland, lonley and didn't work inherently with most notifications and apps.
  • I had the gear live for 3 years. Loved that watch. I waited patiently for a replacement. The LG Watch Sport was released and a huge disappointment (to me). I went for the Gear S3 and it's amazing. Definitely a 3+ year watch for me
  • Thanks...I'll keep that in mind. :)
  • I would definitely go that route if I had a Samsung phone. While using a Pixel XL, Android Wear is the only option.
  • Why is that? I use my Gear S3 with my Sony Xperia XZ Premium and it works great! Using Samsung Pay with it is a bonus too!
  • Thanks, for the tip. This is news, to me and I pay attention.
    In my knowledge base, Samsung /Tizen watches were for Samsung phones, only. One I stepped away from Samsung phones, I stopped researching Samsung watches. It's nice to hear that compatability improvements were made. I will research Tizen options. 👍
  • Wear is not your only option. You can use the Gear S3 on any android or iPhone
  • I have the LG Sport which came with Android Wear 2.0. I have found it to be easy to use. I like that the Apps mirror the Apps on my phone. Would like to see more complications released by developers, but understand that is a niche market and the money is in Android and IOS apps for phones. Battery life is the only issue. Even doing all the power saving recommendations, I still cannot make it through an entire day on a single charge.
  • I complained about the Urbane 2 not receiving the update on here just yesterday and lo and behold, I got the update this morning! Being that I'm 6 months behind, I have to find out if I like it or not.
  • Got the update on my Urbane too. It totally bogged mine down to where it was pretty much useless. Put up with it like that for about a week until I decided to reset the watch. Way better after that. I highly recommend resetting it, forgetting it in the AW app, and starting over if yours gives you problems.
  • Can you confirm you can turn on the NFC function. Mine has not been able to stay on. I am using the ATT variant if that makes a difference. W200A
  • I just did the update as well on the 13th on my Urbane 2 LTE, it slowed it down a bit. I did a master reset on it, performed a bit better. I need to get used to the UI changes. I've been looking at the LG Sport for a while, if the Urbane keeps being slow might decide to upgrade the watch.
  • @getorres which carrier? No update yet for my Verizon Urbane 2 LTE....
  • What carrier @worldwide? My Verizon Urbane 2 LTE has not received the update yet
  • Got it on my Moto Sport about a month ago, had reservations at 1st because of what I had read, but they were wrong. A BIG improvement!
  • If I wasn't tied into Samsung health and Samsung pay with my gear s2, I'd give my lg urbane more of a spin. It got much faster after a reset and is nice to run through even without the crown....I do miss the features, and changing the screen brightness takes work, but otherwise a fine effort...
  • If you are going to advertise "stand-alone apps", there needs to be a way to manage battery optimization and allow apps to constantly run in the background (or not). You can't leave your phone behind if you aren't sure an app is going to receive a notification correctly. Messaging apps like Telegram don't work well because they have to be open and running to receive notifications. But they are always killed by the battery optimization and don't work as intended, making them useless.
  • Ever since the update came across, I have had horrible experiences with it. I started with the Moto 360, and enjoyed that one 1.0 wear for a long time. Then I switched over the Huawei watch and if I recall, there was a very short period of time that I used that one and enjoyed it. Now however, it has been horrible with Android Wear 2.0 It won't recognize my voice often, it often has connectivity issues with my phone and it doesn't do GPS elements well such as when walking in the city somewhere. It has taken me from a high on Android wear to a low. I can't say that the Huawei watch isn't partially responsible since it happened around the same time, but I am in a bad spot with it right now.
  • Downgrading to 1.5 is amazingly easy. You should do it.
  • I am personally hating that there is not persistent icon/text option for many watch faces. I liked how it was built into AW 1.0 to show you at a glance there is a missed text or call. Now in order to see if I have a notification I have to swipe the watch face...pretty annoying. I thought I would get used to it over the months but having AW 1.0 watches helped alleviate me having to always interact with my phone or watch...
  • Huawei Watch v1, paired with One Plus 3T. Wear 2.0 is great on the whole. Prefer the watchface workflow. Complications are terrific. Greater standalone abilities are good. Battery life is maybe a little better but it was already an easy 1.5 days with everything turned on. Unfortunately, assistant seems a little slower to activate. Worse though is Wear 2.0 on Huawei Watch has pairing issues that mean the watch/phone periodically need to pair. Not an uncommon problem. Lastly, I suspect that the Watch is not favoring the Wifi connection which it should do, particularly when on charge.
  • Apple puts LTE in a 38mm Watch and Samsung and AW makers have LTE Iin HUGE watches 44-46mm. Folks say Apple can't innovate....lol. Obviously leading in miniaturization with wearables, Airpods included.
  • Without an iPhone, the Apple watch is pretty gimped wouldn't you say?
  • The update has completely destroyed the battery life of my Zenwatch 3. I can't even get through a full day without it dying.
  • Hmm, that's odd. I also have a ZW3 and my battery life got marginally better. Using the same watch faces and average use, I get an extra hour or two of battery life every day. About 12-13 hours of use each day and plug it in with about 30+% battery left. Some watch faces will drain your watch faster than others. My only real gripe about the AW2 update was that it steals call priority away from my BT dongle in my truck. Calls used to go to the dongle but after AW2, they went to the watch. Thankfully, Tasker took care of that and I have it set so that when the dongle in the truck is on, calls go there and revert back to the watch when the dongle is off.
  • It's been 6 months already? Wow, goes to show how well the Gear S3 is satisfying my SmartWatch needs because I have not strapped on my LG Urbane LTE in at least that long.
  • I've used Android Wear for some time now. After short stint with a Samsung Gear, I felt the Tizen world was lonely and barren. I went with the LG Watch Urbane with Android Wear 1.5 and beyond some quirks, I really liked it. I upgraded to a Huawei Watch 2 Sport with Android Wear 2.0 and I like it even more. One thing I really like about Android Wear as a whole that is handles notifications quite well, even if there isn't an "app" for the companion phone app. That is something Tizen couldn't do. I think Android Wear 2.0 is getting a bad rap and I think it is rather underrated. One thing I would like is a little more fitness oriented apps. Google Fit is fine but could be more robust. Sleep monitors, official ones (not third party) would be nice.
  • The Tizen based Gear S3 does what you state that you want in not having to rely on third-party apps for sleep monitoring and exercise tracking. As far as the messaging (I use Google Voice), I don't have the problem you referenced.
  • I've had the Watch Sport since day one. Here are my comments:
    >>>Thickness - you get used to it
    >>>Connectivity - Wi-Fi - I'm not sure it switches wi-fi networks as I go from home to work. Everytime I check, the "last used" network is never the network I should be on at that time. Maybe I'm interpreting the results incorrectly.
    >>>Connectivity - Cellular - I agree, it's not natural to make calls through the watch, i avoid it. I find myself keeping cellular off to save battery. I figure I can turn it on when I need to make a call or when I don't have wi-fi. Big bummer - since I have a business cellular account with AT&T, I cannot use number sync. So when not connected to my phone, I don't have the benefit of answering calls or texts from the watch.
    >>>NFC -works fine, I use it when I can
    >>>Apps - good for pretty much notifications only. I keep away from the keyboard and use voice input
    >>>Best Watch Face I found is Black Classic
    >>>Other - Since day one, it seems that the battery does last longer. The Fit app is much improved. I think these comments are more about the Watch Sport and less about Android Wear 2.0, oh well!
  • AW2 did improve my Zenwatch 3 a little, but it's nowhere near as useful as I'd like. Battery life actually got more inconsistent. I tried to like it, but it just didn't work for me. In fact, I rarely use it anymore and will likely sell it. I find my Gear S2 much easier to use, it has much better battery life, and it's become my everyday watch.
  • i hate it. and please realize i was realllllly looking forward to my Huawei Watch getting Wear 2.0, mainly to get a dark theme, circular app drawer, and other new features.
    It made the usefulness of my watch so bad that i've realized i just have to get rid of it...
    Why?...not performance issues....
    The problem is literally every function i used my watch for either got worse or went away completely:
    -the lil peek card, so i can see the latest message or now playing on WHILE my nice big watchface is still being displayed at the same time. also used to be able to tap on the watchface to pause music this way...now i have to wake it, tap the now playing, tap it again, and then hit pause. used to be literally 1 tap.
    -raising my watch at any time and just saying "ok google" to set a reminder etc....can't do this if you have a notification or now playing, because that takes up the screen and disables the wake word. so i never know if it will work when i raise my wrist, so i have to instead hold the button every time now, which is bad because i used it a lot in the car for quick & safe handsfree reminders.
    -volume buttons for music are TINY...used to be literally 1/4 of the screen. now i'm tapping them 5x to hopefully actually hit the button once.
    -swiping through notifications used to go one at a time i believe?...now if i swipe too hard, it goes all the way to tthe bottom...i have to carefully swipe softly to see each one at a time, which makes it easy to miss one or not find what you're looking for if there's many.
    -my reminders never display right anymore. sometimes they buzz once and then it goes away immediately. i have to swipe through all my notifications and find it buried in there. not helpful at all when i wanted to be reminded to do something at 11am or when i arrive home. and i used these CONTSTANLY before...it was so useful back in AW 1.x
    -can't quickly/easily change the watchface by holding it down
    -used to be able to double-tap the button to turn off the screen completely - which was EXTREMELY USEFUL if you realize you're in a very dark theater and your bright watch is glowing brightly (old way took 2 secs and no one would even see you do it)....now, i have to light up the screen, swipe down, go to brightness, then click screen off. there's more i'm not thinking of. seriously though, for me - someone who was so full of anticipation for and excited to get Wear 2.0 - it's an absolutely awful update. highly inefficient and took away or made more difficult everything i used my watch for. i'm going to have to try a Gear watch...just been waiting for the S4 to be announced and then i'll sell this Huawei watch. sucks, because i loved the design of this watch too and spent a lot on it.
    Ugh.
  • That does stink, but with hardware that works well with it, Android wear 2.0 is fantastic. I went from original Moto 360 to the LG Watch Sport, and I couldn't be happier with the improvements of 2.0.
  • But my issues have nothing to do with the hardware... My hardware is fine. It's specifically the new "improvements" in the 2.0 OS upgrade that made my watch useless. Performance is still very fast. Just the software is very inefficient and a step backwards, for how I use and rely on my smartwatch.
  • ^ Someone send this to Google cuz it is all true! Way harder to do things now then with 1.5 androidwear on my first gen huawei Gestures and notifications are way worse IMO. I do enjoy a smartwatch but like many before have said. I just like it basic. Get some notifications, check weather and see calendar and reminders. The rest, not really that useful for me. I recently saw the Movado watch. Looked great! Too bad it is so pricey!!
  • By the way, you can downgrade back to the "old" Android Wear. It is not for the faint of heart. But if you get on XDA, a few hours (and I mean hours) of reading will set you in the right direction. But I understand the desire to move on. Your comment makes me want to sell my Huawei Watch (running the "old" Android wear), get a Galaxy S* something and a Gear 2/3. But I'm holding out hope that there's something beyond 2.0 that will fix a few of these things??? GOOGLE? CAN YOU HEAR US???
  • Thanks! Maybe I'll give down grading a go.
  • I totally agree with Berry_Bold! You thought of way more than I could and worded it very well!
  • You may not be aware, but it is SUPER easy to downgrade back to 1.5. I did it on my Huawei Watch. You should too.
  • I've been fine with the 2.0 upgrade except for one thing. I can't shuffle songs played directly from the watch. With the Moto 360 Sport used primarily as a running watch, this is non-starter. Running to the same playlist 3 times a week is starting to drive me insane. I owned the original Rio PMP300 mp3 player and do you know what it did? Shuffled songs. In 1998.
  • Love my Android Wear 2 watch. I love how easy it is to change watch faces, so I can have a few ready when I want to change. I'm not really using any apps. Are there any you suggest?
  • 2.0 is horrible. In 1.5 it took 1 swipe and two taps to reply to a text or email. Now it takes a combination of 6 swipes and taps just to reply to a text. Now when i get a message i read it on my watch and just reply from my phone.
  • A very very disappointed Android Wear fan here. I am/ was?) an Android Wear influencer, telling others how much I like (liked?) it. I purchased a Moto 360, couldn't stand the flat tire, so got a Samsung Gear Live and wore that thing hard-core every day. Loved it. I was crushed that I wouldn't be getting the "next big thing" in Android Wear-- for me, an actual swipe-style keyboard was a big desire-- and so resigned myself to wait until the Huawei Watch (they beautiful watch I'd been eyeing) came down in price. Wore the Gear Live for over 2 years, biding my time, and finally after my birthday this summer, got myself a first Gen. Huawei Watch. It now had 2.0 available, so I eagerly updated. Even the painful process of installing apps (over bluetooth maybe?--So slow!) seemed exciting as I looked forward to the glories of Wear 2.0. But the excitement faded quickly. Google Assistant is my least favorite thing that Google has done recently-- both on smartphone and on Android Wear. Particularly on Wear, IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE IT IS SUPPOSED TO!!! This is the biggest issue, and ultimately pushed me away from 2.0. Other things that annoyed me were the unbundled notifications (I get a lot of texts and emails-- I love the bundling on my phone/watch previously-see them at a glace--now I'm scrolling like crazy through them), the fact that you have to press a (small) SEND button in order to send a voice or typed response!!!, things that previously I could do hands-free and now require a touch interaction. Unfortunately, my 2.0-toting Huawei watch got stolen, so I ultimately replaced it with another Huawei watch that was still running 1.5. I've figured out how to make the persistent update notifications go away (BTW, you can also downgrade from 2.0 to 1.5+) and now I live with the lack of the new cool things (swipe keyboard, standalone apps, etc) because I can actually do the things I need to better in 1.5+ than in 2.0.
    Google, I love ya, but one of the reasons I refuse to have an iPhone is how Apple "decides" what is best for their customers, and leaves no options. If Google starts making consumer-unfriendly decisions like this (ie, deciding to do things that may appeal to the masses but tick off their core enthusiast users) then... I may just go to Apple. At least their stuff generally works and works well once they release it. I wish I could say the same for Android Wear 2.0.
  • Way worse! 1. Google Assistant is either slow to respond or fails entirely.
    2. Dark theme/low contrast makes reading notifications difficult at a glance.
    3. Too many taps and swipes to reply to text. Used to be hands free.
    4. VERY small touch targets for play/pause.
    5. Wasted swipe functionality for watchface changes.
    6. Muting watch doesn't mute phone. Stupidest change ever.
    7. Apps on watch means keeping YET ANOTHER DEVICE up to date.
    8. Updating apps in the background can slow the watch to a crawl. (The update did improve the performance of the Fossil Q Wander considerably, but slowed down the 360 Sport.)
  • I have the Moto 360 Gen 2 and i like the Android Wear 2.0 update overall. I like the apps and it runs pretty smooth and the battery life seems SO much better after the update. I do hope they fix the way you can do 1 handed gestures, especially with answering messages, you can to select with method you want to use but I'm not sure you can select a default way that it will go to automatically.
  • I'm so disappointed by Wear 2 that I stopped using my Urbane watch altogether.
  • I love it on my Urbane. Battery life is so much better. Miss some of the shortcuts but got used to the new interface pretty easily. The ability to add shortcuts would be nice but maybe they can bake something in w/ the next update.
  • hating it, actually. so much i tossed my Moto 360 aside and bought a Gear S3. they changed so much stuff for the worse.
    -double tap button to go to theater mode, gone
    -swipe left now doesn't show the menu but changes watchface, i hardly change watchface so that sucks
    -easy navigation is gone, now you have to alternate between screen and button, counter intuitive
    -slight vibration when you put it on the charger so you know you placed it right, gone and the standalone apps, i don't see the use, i never wear my watch without having my phone with me
    for me it's an extension of the phone and a filter for notifications and that they messed up for me really looking forward to the near update for the Gear S3, which isn't perfect either next update for android wear?
    if my Moto 360 2nd edition gets it all, but i'm not really interested in Android Wear anymore
  • What 2.0? Verizon LG Urbane 2 user.
  • It made my huawei watch so fast. It was so slow on 1.0. I finally got use to pressing the button to open apps. I was swiping trying to open it the old way forever. It works pretty well. Mainly use it for notifications and time. I just noticed if you have 2 factor authentication it pops up on the wash! It's so neat being able to accept it from my wrist.
  • I hate 2.0! I have both the Huawei and LG Urbane and don't get how losing the ability to 'Open on Phone' gesture is considered an update! Lost too much, gained very little.
  • Luckily it is SUPER easy to downgrade back to 1.5. I did it on my Huawei Watch. You should too.
  • I just wish Facebook would show me comments as notifications that I can read on the watch
  • Would love to have Android wear2 ,but have a Sony watch sw3 .Useless Sony to cheap to make the switch so I junked the watch and sold it.Looking for a new smartwatch anyone with suggestions?
  • Something 'stuck' on AW 1.
  • They need to rethink the smart watch Imo and stop trying to make it a phone on your wrist. I already have a phone in my pocket or most likely my hand. Make the simplicity might be the key and prices shouldn't exceed 200$ less craftsmanship starts coming into play
  • I'm back to my standard watches. Quartz, divers, and digitals. No charging and shower safe.
  • I have two wear watches: Huawei watch on 2.0 and 360 42mm on Wear 1.5.6 My daily driver is the 360 simply because for all the nice touches in 2.0, wear 1.5 focuses on what I want...simple notification management. It was more of a side-grade for me.
  • Not loving it on my Huawei. When I get a buzz on the watch I want to be able to glance and see the notification, not stop to swipe and look. I run with my phone in an armband, heart rate chest strap and bluetooth earbuds. Why cant I start and stop Strava from my watch anymore? I don't need stand alone apps on my watch, and I don't need LTE. I want it to enhance the use of my phone. I am almost never without my phone, but I have started to go more and more without my Wear 2.0 watch.
  • It is SUPER easy to downgrade back to 1.5. I did it on my Huawei Watch. You should too.
  • I'm using Android Wear 2 on a Nixon Mission and i Love it, Android Wear 1.5 was ok but clumsy and confusing, 2.0 looks more like a stock android on a smartphone and it's really nice to use
  • The Wear 2.0 Update killed my LG G Watch R, it just became so slow and laggy that the features I liked to use became unusable (10+ seconds to launch Google Assistant), Google Play constantly crashing and refusing to update apps.
    Unfortunately the LG Watch Sport isn't officially available in the UK, and though the Huawei Watch 2 was okay, the smaller screen and lack of a rotating crown put me off. I ended up importing the Watch Sport from a grey market seller in Hong Kong. My two concerns about it (size and battery life) were completely unfounded. Sure it's large, but it's not too big, and it doesn't look as large on as it does off. Battery life was a concern, it's true it doesn't do the two days my Watch R could, but it'll get me through a 18+ hour day with 30% still in the tank, that's with everything apart from LTE enabled, and always on display. I picked up a PAYG SIM from Three and it works great as a back up incase my phone dies.
  • I have to say I really dislike AW 2.0. I had a Sony SW3 for a few years and decided to give The Gear S3 frontier a go. Loved it, Samsung have done a great job on Tizen for wearables. I became hooked to using Samsung pay on my wrist as it's so convenient. I switched banks though to one that doesn't support Samsung Pay so decided to try AS 2.0 on the Huawei Watch 2 4g. Yes I've got my wrist based payments which is good but everything is so slow to load. It's painful. Despite having a smaller screen and bigger battery than the Gear S3 the battery life is half as good. Swiping both ways to change watch face is stupid and irritating. Swiping right to left should open the app drawer or something. What was wrong with a short press to change the watch face? Google Play music is slow as hell. The navigation is less intuative and the volume keys are too small. In short I think AW 2.0 is a bit of a dog. Google have to seriously up their game.
  • Hi Jerry. Usually your articles are the ones I disagree with least compared to the other mobile nations authors. However as someone who LOVES android wear I think there are so many crucial aspects you're not touching on. I understand you said you're a part time android wear user but then maybe someone else should've written this article, no offence. Android wear 2.0 is a giant step back. I have given it 2 full weeks and two attempts and both times I've just decided to downgrade to 1.5. Thankfully that wasn't hard at all with the Huawei Watch. If you'll allow me, I'll detail why. For myself and I'm sure for many other wear enthusiasts, the benefit of having a smartwatch was the ability to do things without having to touch anything. That includes sending messages.
    My main use for my phone is communication, and often text based communication. When I first got the Moto 360 and I was able to simply look at my watch and say "Ok Google, text Jason and say hey what's up" or something to that effect, and watch it do just that - absolutely liberating. Not having to touch a thing. That felt like the future.
    I could walk the dog and send messages back and forth with the gestures. Yes it looks a little silly as you're turning your wrist and moving your arm up and down to confirm and back out of things - but it was SO nice when you had your hands full or another reason preventing you from interacting with the watch using touch. I could look at a message notification, click it, click reply, say my response, and have it being sent - all with gestures and my voice! Now that's all gone. If I try to send a message, it needs me to hit confirm with my other hand. WHAT?!! If I wanted to use 2 hands I'd just use my phone! I can no longer also use gestures to accomplish this. That's made the primary reason for having a smartwatch gone. Other things:
    When I get a message on android wear 1.5, the watch vibrates and before turning my wrist to see what it is - I can see the name of the person at the bottom of the watchface in ambient mode. And it stays there until I get rid of it. It's just at the bottom, it's unobtrusive, it doesn't block my view of my nicely customized watchface, and just has enough of a nagging effect that I'll take care of it when i need to. With wear 2.0, the message pops up, and then slides down out of view unless I change the setting to have the message always display. There are big issues with that. In the default method, I may miss the vibration and then the message isn't there unless I purposely swipe upwards on the watch. If i set it to always show, then it completely covers my watchface and just stays there. It's nowhere near as minimal and elegant as wear 1.5. Now when you dismiss a message or notification accidentally, there seems to be no way of undoing it. Another feature just gone. In wear 1.5 you had about 3 seconds to reverse that decision. Now if you accidentally swipe away a message, there's no way to get it back so that you can interact with it. Overall the watch requires TOO much touch interaction. To respond to a whatsapp message I have to click and scroll multiple times before finally seeing the ability to respond, whereas with wear 1.5 it was 2 swipes and a click to respond. And of course, as mentioned once I say the message - I have to hit confirm again with my hand. It requires so much interaction that it is simply not worth it to have a smartwatch versus just pulling your phone out. The one thing I like about wear 2.0? The keyboard. It is excellent. I thought at first it would be too small to use, but once I got the hang of it, it is wonderful and accurate for short messages. Since downgrading to 1.5 I've found no good alternative. Everything else just seems cumbersome, and I greatly miss the keyboard from 2.0 For me, that is the only large benefit. Overall, I think I'll stick with wear 1.5 until/if Google's mindset about how wearables should be interacted with changes.
    I'd be happy to supply wear related articles and thoughts if mobile nations needs.
  • The wrist gestures allow scrolling without touching. May address some of your concerns.
  • The problem is you can't hit the reply Burton or the confirm button with a gesture.
  • So I got 2 Zenwatch 2's and after updating 1 to Wear 2.0 I'm doing all I can to avoid updating the other. It just destroyed the usefulness of the watch. 1 handed navigating was my MAIN draw to Android Wear as many times working I can't use 2 hands. Being able to flick and respond was priceless. Now I just see a bit of the notification and have to wait hours till I'm able to use 2 hands to respond. Which at that point I just use my phone. It's more of a watch now then a "Smartwatch". Good - QWERTY keyboard
    Bad - Everything else
  • I don't like it.
    I agree with all of don1978's bad, from the OP and....
    The most irritating is that swiping now changes watchfaces. Do folks really change their watch face on the fly and often? Swiping to apps was more functionary, than pressing the button.
    Some of the differences could be due to watch brand. I have a Samsung Gear 2 Neo, running Android Wear Beta 3 (v1.x ZenWatch based) ROM from biktor and a Fossil Marshall, running stock Wear 2.
    I don't like how I can't read a SMS chain, on Wear 2.
    I don't like how the timer, which I use often, is a dial for number selection on Wear 2,as opposed to a ticker on Wear 1.
    Complications is about the only thing I do like, but they don't even work flawlessly.
    That's just off the top of my head, as I just woke up....
  • It looks very interesting, great gadget for your hand :)
  • I agree with alot of these comments and stopped using my Casio smart outdoors watch as much. To difficult to use now. What's with the repeat notifications? And how do I get it to show the most recent notification? Not the oldest? Shame it's was so good.
  • I only see positives for Wear 2.0 (on my Huawei Watch 1) - it gave me everything I needed/wanted to do on my watch: The occasional text/whatsapp/messenger reply (i think the swipe keyboard is perfect for a quick reply and its very accurate). Make and receive a call when i'm not able to use my phone. Download apps independently. The notifications/app icon from the bottom of the screen are perfect for me, swipe up and then swipe to dismiss. Complications are a bonus. After daily use my watch is normally still on 60% charge - it manages the power consumption really well. The only thing I would prefer is a left swipe from the watch face to access the menu rather than press the physical button. There are probably a lot more things the watch can to, but the basics are spot on for my requirements.
  • Hate it. My watch lost awesome features when going to 2.0 My phone flip view case lost features when going to nougat.
  • Overall, the 2.0 update is not much of an improvement for my Zenwatch 2 and Pixel XL. Mostly because of Bluetooth problems. Very irritating. I reset the watch, which takes forever to complete the installation of apps and it does not help for long. Now I can't get the Google Messages so to install again on the Watch. The Pebble really was better in many ways.
  • I miss some of the features of AW 1.5 primarily the persistent notification bar (until I clear or otherwise acknowledge the notification). My Huawei Watch (first-gen) balks at responding to "OK Google" and I often end up having to tap the watch screen to then allow me to request something (or my phone just hears my request from across the room and I just ask it to perform the task) - this isn't very convenient, especially with messy hands while wanting to set a timer in the kitchen.
  • It is SUPER easy to downgrade back to 1.5. I did it on my Huawei Watch. You should do it too.
  • Haven't worn my watch much since I got the 2.0 update, i find it to be less user friendly than the previous version and frankly just kind of a hassle to use. Stuff that was front and center that I used all the time every day is not buried under two or three taps. It really just doesn't feel like much of an update, not to mention on my less than brand new hardware it seems to have slowed things down considerably. I am glad I got my watch at a heavily discounted price because AW 2.0 coupled with the fact that I just still don't think I am convinced on the smartwatch concept means I never use it.
  • I really enjoy it. While 1.5 was "gadget" I find 2.0 really smooth and enjoyable enough and I'm using it way more than I did when I first bought my watch
  • Battery life now sucks. But other than that I like it better.
  • What brand watch are you using?
  • Asus Zenwatch 3
  • Yup same here. The Huawei watch is OK though even with AW2.0. The Asus also suffers from "unresponsiveness" takes several gestures/swipes to get things going. It was fine with the older version.
  • Android Wear 2.0 did more harm then good. I wear my watch far less now, to the point I'm thinking of getting a Sammy gear.
  • Android Wearable is the best & unique Android App Development. Thanks a lot for posting the valuable things. Keep Posting.
  • My Moto 360 2015 shuts down at 80% and only lasts about 8 hours. This has ruined my watch and Lenovo want even support me instead of asking me to do a factory reset!