The biggest upgrade to Android Wear 2 (and The Verge's weird review)

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Here's the opening to The Verge's review of the LG Watch Sport and Style:

Are you wearing a smartwatch? Not likely. Despite the fact that modern wrist computers have been available for over three years, most people have not found them to be as desirable or necessary as the ubiquitous smartphone. They’ve gone from being "the next big thing" to becoming just another thing, and not a thing most people want.

That, of course, hasn’t stopped companies from trying to sell them to you.

This is such a weird way to open a review. It sounds like we've got someone who is almost offended by the very existence of smart watches doing this review.

That said the watches sound okay, but Android Wear 2.0 sounds like a really solid update. Like they said, it's not a game changer, but the addition of Android Pay and phone calls bring it up to parity with watchOS in some ways (watchOS 1.0 had this, but who's counting).

The headline feature of this release in my book is the ability for apps to be 100% independently installed on the watch. This is a wonderful addition and is something I sincerely hope Apple adds in watchOS 4. Installing apps directly onto the watch means that they literally don't need your phone for anything, which is big for 2 reasons.

First, it will allow smart watches with LTE to function even if you leave your phone at home. This would especially great for workouts where I want to run or swim with my watch, but leave my giant phone at home. My messages could still come in, and Spotify or Apple Music could stream music without issue.

Second, native apps make Android Wear a more palatable concept for us iOS users. Android Wear was previously a pretty poor smart watch platform for iPhone users, but if everything is running on the watch then you don't need to worry nearly as much about how limited Android Wear is able to tether to iOS. I almost want to buy one of these just to see how that works (although seriously, if you know someone in LG PR, let them know I'd love a review unit).