Smartwatches were the hype of 2016. Apple, Samsung and many others got heavily invested in the wearable market, trying to make it the next big thing in mobile tech. Even though the market for wearables now seems like it won’t be the next revolution in consumer electronics, Google is still updating its Android Wear operating system.
Google mentioned that an Android Oreo update would come to select Android Wear smartwatches eventually, back at its annual developer conference in May. Then, we discovered Google was testing this update as a beta on the LG Watch Sport. This is the first time we’ve heard of anything since, as the search giant now appears to be rolling out its Oreo software to LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.
Hoi Lam, a Google employee, took it to Google+ this week to announce an official change-log, or at least part of one, for Android Wear’s overdue Oreo system update. Compared with the smartphone experience, the update for Android Wear brings far fewer features so it seems. Some of the major ones include: the ability to adjust notification vibration strength, the ability to lock your device manually (for wet conditions), support for seven new languages, notification channels, and battery saving background limits.
As with the Android 8.0 Oreo update for mobile, the Oreo Android Wear update roll out is in the hands of manufactures. As a result, it will be some time before (if ever) you’ll be able to download and install the update on your Android Wear device. Old models surely won’t support it, but at this point in time, we don’t have any further confirmation as to exactly which third-party smartwatches will get it.
The stance of Android Wear is still unclear. Google seems to be losing interest in the platform and a result, we are too. Android companies are no longer making new models, favoring operating systems of their own. And just over a month ago, Google announced that smaller, incremental updates would be pushed out to the platform through the Android Wear application on the Play Store. Obviously, the purpose behind this has been to eliminate the need for minor updates to pass through manufacturers, which can take time. The search giant has since rolled out two updates via the app, but this one was too large to fit the bill. Let’s hope it’s a sign that the company hasn’t given up just yet.
If you happen to see the update on your watch, drop us a comment and we’ll update this post.
SOURCE [Hoi Lam on Google+]