Android Wear 2.0 is here with new hardware features!

Posted by Hoi Lam, Lead Developer Advocate, Android Wear


Today, we are releasing the final SDK for Android Wear 2.0. In this release, we have added support for the new hardware features announced yesterday. If you have not done so already, it really is time to publish your apps so as to not miss the consumer hardware launch tomorrow.

Throughout the developer preview program, you have given us a lot of constructive feedback as well as bug reports. Thank you again!

Android Wear 2.0 recap

Android Wear 2.0 is our biggest update since we launched Wear in 2014, with numerous platform and developer enhancements. Some of the highlights include:

  • Material Design for Android Wear – A new system user interface and design guidelines, featuring a darker colour palette, vertical layout and visual components such as the WearableRecyclerView and WearableNavigationDrawer. We have also enhanced notifications on the watch with the new MessagingStyle rich notification style and inline actions.
  • Watch Face Complications – Complications are areas of the watch face that display information other than time. Apps can supply data to supported watch faces by creating a ComplicationProviderService, and watch faces can render this data in a style that suits the watch face design.
  • Standalone Android Wear apps and iOS support – Apps can now be downloaded directly to Wear devices via an on-watch Google Play Store. In addition, these apps can access the internet directly without relying on phone apps. This means that apps can now run on Android Wear devices that are paired to iOS devices.

New hardware support

The first two watches with Android Wear 2.0 give users more ways to interact with their smartwatches. In the final SDK, we have added API support for physical button locations and rotary input. At present, developers will need the new LG Watch Style or LG Watch Sport to test these new functionalities; however, we are working to add these new hardware features to the emulator. Stay tuned for updates! The SDK also includes a few other final bug fixes, such as support for more than three items in the Wearable Action Drawer.

App review changes

Now that Android Wear 2.0 is live, we’ll soon update the Android Wear App Quality review process with two important changes. First, enhancing your phone app notifications for Android Wear will no longer be sufficient for passing the review. Second, it will soon be required that you upload a watch APK that’s compatible with Android Wear 2.0. Only apps that pass these criteria will receive badging in Play Store on the phone and be eligible for top charts for Android Wear apps. These changes will ensure a more consistent experience for users and allow us to streamline the review process for you.

The journey doesn’t stop here!

The Android Wear 2.0 developer preview lasted longer than we originally planned, but we think that the extra time has paid off in a big way. Thank you once again for your input and patience. You helped us achieve a higher quality bar than we could have achieved on our own.

We have integrated the Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview documentation into the main Wear developer documentation site, and have also made factory images available for the preview devices. For developer related bugs, please continue to file developer bug reports or post comments in our Android Wear Developers community.

From the Android Wear team: Thank you again for your feedback and support!


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