Google has introduced a new Android Wear beta based on this year’s Android Oreo system upgrade for mobile. The interface that will bring you beyond Android Wear 2.0, which alone still hasn’t hit everybody, brings some improvements and enhancements.
Late last night, Google posted an Android Wear beta update. The update is compatible with only one smartwatch, LG’s Watch Sport, though others could gain support with a future beta release or official roll out. This is a shame since very few of us have the watch to test out the new software, but perhaps Google wants to start small.
This is a beta, so you’ll have to enroll in Google’s Android Beta Program for access, just as you would normally for a Pixel or supported Nexus phone. It’s open to anyone with a Watch Sport, but it has not been recommended that you install the update if you use your smartwatch daily and rely on it for certain functions. This is because the software is in its first stage and bugs will be of a plentiful. Included in the over-the-air update are some touches throughout the interface as well as support for Notification Channels, an Android 8.0 feature that lets users select which notifications they want to receive from different apps. Also listed as new are increased battery restrictions on background services.
In case you’re wondering where this came from, Google did announce off-stage during Google I/O 2017 that a future Android Wear update would come later this year. It’s more of a refinement update, or “maintenance update,” with little that is new to look forward to. There has been no mention of how many betas there will be, nor if any other devices will gain support from here. There’s also the absence of a roll out date estimation.
The smartwatch market has taken a downturn with falling sales. Just recently, Verizon stopped selling its own Wear24 Android Wear smartwatch, leaving few others with cellular connectivity out on the market. Maybe Google is trying to revive some of the hope for the platform with this update and take it more seriously. I don’t know, but what I do know is, it’s getting late and Android Wear is falling behind competitors. Maybe we’ll hear more tomorrow at the Made By Google 2017 event in San Francisco, CA. Wouldn’t that be a surprise.
Check out our full roundup of what to expect, linked below.
If you’re eligible, head here to enroll.
SOURCE [Android Developers]