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A big update to Google's Android Wear will make fitness tracking easier

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Jermaine Dusenbery
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Fitness apps will start automatically, and users can respond to messages with machine learning-based replies

Android Watches displayed on screen at Google I/O on May 18, 2016

Android Wear, Google s operating system for smartwatches, is getting its biggest update yet with an upcoming 2.0 release that brings improved features for messaging and fitness.

Among the improvements, Android Wear 2.0 will detect when you're starting to exercise and automatically fire up an app such as Strava.

Google is also taking aim at how the Apple Watch displays information from applications, by allowing developers to display information from any app when users glance at their device.

That s important for helping people to quickly see data from apps they use frequently.

People who want to converse with friends from their wrists will also get new features, including a redesigned keyboard, support for handwriting recognition, and smart replies that offer machine learning-driven responses based on the context of a conversation.

At a time when smartwatches are still a niche item, that could be useful for Google.

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Jermaine Dusenbery
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