Search giant Google has renamed its smartwatch platform Wear OS from Android Wear last week. As the smartwatches that are powered by Google’s platform support both Android and iOS devices, Wear OS makes sense it does not imply any mobile platform. After the name change, Wear OS released its first developer preview based on Android P today. For now, the Wear OS Developer Preview [dp] is only available for download for manual installation on Huawei Watch 2 Bluetooth and Huawei Watch 2 Classic Bluetooth watches. Google mentions that this release is targeted towards developers only and so available only through manual download and flashing.
The highlights of the developer preview according to the blog post
Restriction related to non-SDK methods: In order to improve app compatibility, Wear OS on Android P is going to restrict access to non-SDK methods and the developers are advised to migrate from them.
Dark UI system theme: Wear OS now made the dark UI/black background for notification as default system theme. This might be the biggest visual change for the whole update and should improve the visibility of the screen with white text on a dark background.
Limited background activity: Apps in the background are no longer allowed in this version of Wear OS, so the power management of the device is to be given priority. However, this does not apply when the watch is being charged and exclude watch faces and complications that the user currently has selected on the device. This feature may not be available right away but is planned to roll out in DP gradually and the developers should apps following this by removing background service
Turning off radios when off body: As a part of better power management, the watch will turn off the Bluetooth, WiFi, and radio when it detects it to be off the body for an extended period of time. This feature is also going to roll out gradually.
WiFi off when Bluetooth is disconnected: WiFi will not going to be connected if your watch is disconnected from your smartphone except when an app is requesting for high bandwidth traffic or if the watch is on charge. Again this feature will also be rolled out gradually.
As aforementioned Developer Preview are available for download and testing on Huawei Watch 2 and Huawei Watch 2 Classic Bluetooth smart watches, and you can download here. If you have a Chinese variant of the said smartwatches and want to use it to make modifications in your app to be ready for Android P, you can download the Chinese variant here.
Remember! this is the first developer preview incorporated on Android P features, and so comes with some already known issues, unable to accept a phone call using the watch being major one among them.
You can read the full blog post regarding this developer preview on Google’s Android developers blog: here
If you are a Wear OS app developer and don’t know how to flash this dp, check out how manually flash the dp follow these instructions.