Your smartwatch is about to get a seriously cool new feature as Android Wear 2.0 drops

Who’s for watch-based typing?​

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Smartwatches are Marmite devices – you’ll either love having all your notifications on your wrist, or hate having to charge the buggers every day.

If you’ve already taken the plunge and splurged on an Android Wear-powered smartwatch such as the Moto 360 or Huawei Watch, however, yourApple Watch rival is about to get a whole lot smarter.

Announced at Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, Google unveiled Android Wear 2.0, a software update that’s about to bring some seriously cool new features to your wearable.

Chief among these is handwriting recognition. Instead of having to fish your phone from your pocket every time you want to answer a message, your Android Wear watch will soon let you write out your response directly on the watch.

“We are redesigning key experiences on the watch to be more immersive,”  David Singleton, Google VP Engineering for wearables, said. “This includes smart reply, handwriting recognition and a new keyboard.”

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With the new handwriting tool, you can sketch big letters on a scrolling watch face, and the writing automatically translates into typed text – nice.

Don’t like this, don’t worry – a full, albeit compact QWERTY keyboard is heading to your watch face too.

It will line up alongside more customisable watch faces, with every Android Wear skin about to pull in data from any app in the updated OS.

Heading to developers in the coming days, Android Wear 2.0, which is also offering improved native app support – meaning you can leave your phone at home – will be rolled out to existing devices this autumn.

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