Wear OS gets Android P developer preview for Huawei Watch 2

Enrique, 28 March 2018

Today, Google has released a developer preview for Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) by Google. The search giant has recently rebranded the operating system, perhaps in an effort to breathe new life into the otherwise neglected platform.

The Wear OS developer preview is available only for the Huawei Watch 2 Bluetooth and it can be installed on either the Sport or Classic versions. This new preview is based on Android P and offers a bunch of changes that make the OS both more efficient with battery life and offer improved performance.

In its blog post, Google highlights some changes made to Wear OS:

  • Dark UI theme: Wearables will now have a dark UI theme by default. This would employ white text against dark or black backgrounds.
  • Limited background activity: Apps will no longer be allowed to run in the background unless the watch is charging. Think of it as a more restrictive version of Android's Doze feature. Of course, there are exemptions like watchfaces and complications.
  • Turn off radios when off body: If a user takes their watch off, the smartwatch will basically go into airplane mode, turning off radios to save power when not in use. This will only happen when the watch has been off body "for an extended period of time". This will be rolled out gradually so it would appear to be an update that will come via the Google Play Services Framework.
  • Wi-Fi off when Bluetooth is disconnected: Wi-Fi will not turn on when a smartwatch is disconnected from a smartphone. The exceptions are when an app requests a high traffic or when the charger is connected. This is another one that will be rolled out gradually.
  • Restriction to non-SDK methods: Google will no longer allow Wear OS app developers to create apps on platforms other than the official SDK. Google says this will improve app consistency and compatibility.

Android Wear reached a point where hardware manufacturers no longer wanted to develop hardware for the platform. Motorola never made a smartwatch after the Moto 360 2nd gen and Huawei didn't release a Watch 3. The only ones who seem to be doing well with Wear OS smartwatches are fashion brands like Michael Kors and Fossil, who both sell Wear OS-powered fashion forward watches.

Huawei Watch 2

Apple has seen the most success with the Apple Watch and Google believes that if it buckles down on development standards and battery management, it can put the OS back on track. After all, Google does have control over the platform and doesn't really allow heavy OEM customization to it.

Source | Download


Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 29 Mar 2018
  • yAL

We had a 3rd OS, it didn't work out so well for them.

  • AnonD-558092
  • 29 Mar 2018
  • r7b

Samsung's smartwatches arent junk because they avoided AW with Tizen, much lighter and more versatile. Google is killing everything with their policies. I think Android Wear has proven why "stock" is not an absolute option. And unfortunately, they're...

Wear OS has a lot of potential. I got the LG Watch Style with my LG G6 when i bought it and had a chance of "not spending" money on it. The fact that the battery part of things is so bad, and its so badly optimised with a lot of bugs is making ...

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