Sports apparel brand New Balance officially confirmed its RunIQ smartwatch will be updated to Android Wear 2.0 by April 14. The retailer’s first Android Wear watch made a debut back in January and started shipping out in early February, but didn’t run the latest major build of Google’s wearable operating system out of the box. Following New Balance's latest statement, it seems that owners of the RunIQ can expect to get their intelligent time piece upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 by the end of the week.
The company also shared a list of improvements users can expect to see once they install the update, including improved GPS functionality and Bluetooth connectivity when the watch is connected to iOS. Apple device owners will also be treated with Google Play Music access and untethered running on their wearable. Apart from that, Android Wear 2.0 for the RunIQ debuts tweaks meant to improve the device's battery life, Google Store Play access that doesn't require a phone to be connected to the watch, and customizable watch faces with Complications. While New Balance doesn't mention it in the official blog post, the new OS build should also bring the Google Assistant to the RunIQ. Initially expected in February, the Android Wear 2.0 update for compatible devices was delayed because Google found a bug during the final testing phase of the OS. Whatever was causing the hold-up has now seemingly been fixed, and the new build of Android Wear will land on more devices soon. LG also confirmed the LG G Watch R and Watch Urbane should also receive Android Wear 2.0 this week, while the second edition of the Watch Urbane will get the same treatment next month.
New Balance’s RunIQ is a smartwatch designed for runners that boasts a circular 1.39-inch display. The intelligent timepiece relies on the Intel Atom Z34XX processor which works in concert with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, in addition to featuring a heart rate monitor and GPS. Strava is powering the fitness tracking side of the RunIQ and the smartwatch also has its own social network where runners can share their workouts stats called Global Run Club. New Balance promises up to five hours of battery life for the RunIQ with active GPS or up to 24 hours of typical usage, but those figures should improve once the device receives its Android Wear 2.0 update. The New Balance RunIQ smartwatch can be purchased for approximately $299.