Google Drops Wear OS Developer Preview with Support for P
Google today released the first developer preview of Wear OS, the renamed platform for smartwatches and other wearables. Importantly, this developer preview brings with it support for Android P features. Google pointed out a number of items that developers will need to keep in mind when developing for Wear OS. For example, to improve app compatibility, Android P kicks off the process of restricting access to non-SDK methods. Moreover, the dark theme is now the default system theme, something Google says should improve the glanceability of Wear apps. The preview looks to limit background activity in order to improve efficiency. For example, apps will not be able to run in the background unless on a charger. Watch faces and their complications are the only exceptions to this for now. Similarly, this Android P-based version of Wear OS is more aggressive about turning off the Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular radios when the device detects that it is no longer being worn. This too is meant to help reduce power consumption when the wearable is in an idle state. Google says the developer preview is indeed for developers only. It can be installed via manual flash to either the Huawei Watch 2 or Watch 2 Classic smartwatches. Google expects to provide several updates to the Wear OS Developer Preview before a final production build is made available to consumers. Google hopes developers will provide feedback along the way so it can improve the platform.
Sep 1, 2017
Google this week updated some of its Play Store policies that will improve the availability of apps for older Android-based smartwatches. Specifically, Google has made multi-APK apps available to Android Wear 1.0 devices.
May 9, 2018
Google today offered developers a new build of Wear OS for select Android smartwatches. The update chiefly installs the Actions on Google feature that Google announced earlier this month, but it also introduces more power-related enhancements and a dedicated battery saver mode.
Feb 8, 2017
Google today officially made Android Wear 2.0 available to device makers and the public. The wearable platform has been in preview status since May 2016 and its release has been delayed for several months.
Jan 24, 2017
Google today made the final preview of Android Wear 2.0 available to developers. Google is expected to release the new wearable platform to the public — alongside new smartwatches — at some point in early February.
Sep 29, 2016
Google today released Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 3 and also shared some details on the timing for the platform's public launch. The biggest addition to the preview operating system is the availability of the Google Play Store on Android Wear devices.