Wearable devices are all the rage these days. Not to be outdone by Apple, Google has rebranded their own smartwatch, the Wear OS. A lot has changed since 2014, when the Google smartwatch first hit the market. The all new Wear OS still focuses on the same results–keeping time and delivering notifications. As of March 15th, 2018, the Wear OS had between 10 and 50 million application installations. Wear OS was estimated to account for 10% of the smartwatch market in 2015.

Here’s What You Should Know

The updated Wear OS will work with any Android device and can connect easily to WiFi. Its new interface is more efficient and simplistic. It’s not much to look at, but what the Wear OS lacks in looks, it makes up for in performance. Not to worry–users can still create a personalized experience with bands, apps, custom controls and the like.

In Wear 2.0, you’re able to view data from different third-party apps on the watch face, just like complications on the Apple Watch. Users will receive notifications for incoming text messages, Tweets, Facebook and others. You can manage notifications to turn off the notifications you don’t want.

Wearers need to get used to talking to their watches. Using your smartwatch, you can open particular apps, for example, uber, and say “okay, uber, call a cab”, or the instacart app to start a grocery list. Your watch is ready for whatever you need to ask–start with “OK, Google” to begin your query. Additionally, you can make and receive calls using your watch, and you can enable a variety of voice commands.

Track your run, change tracks on Spotify, and even install new apps directly from the Play Store. The Wear OS offers a degree of freedom that you do not get from carrying your mobile device around.

The upgrade brought with it standalone apps, improved fitness tracking, expanded watch faces, new input methods, extra functionality for iPhone users, Android Pay (now Google Pay), Google Assistant and a whole new design. 

Your Google smartwatch will keep you informed. Access your calendar and now what your day has in store for you ahead of time. Look up commute times, and see your upcoming reservations all in one centralized location. There’s also a bevy of hidden features that users can unlock.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that won’t blow your budget, the Wear OS starts at $249. Do more in less time with the Wear OS.