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Android Wear 2.0 Final Developer Preview Out, Consumer Launch Expected In Early February

25 January 2017, 7:48 am EST By Amy Gordon Tech Times
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Google has released the fifth and final developer preview for Android Wear 2.0. It also includes iOS support, bug fixes, and some enhancements.

Android Wear 2.0 is expected to be outed next month, but an exact date of launch for the OS that powers wearables is not known.

"As Android Wear 2.0 approaches its final release in early February, we would like to thank you for your continued feedback during the developer preview program. Your input has helped us uncover bugs as well as drive critical product decisions. Thank you!" says Google Developer Advocate Hoi Lam.

Since this is the last developer preview for Android Wear 2.0, the features it brings are likely to make their way to the final release. Here's a detailed look at the enhancements and new features it will bring.

Android Wear iOS Support

Since 2015, users have had the ability to pair their iPhones with the Android watches. However, with the updated version, users will be able to distribute the apps to the watches paired with the iPhones.

This feature will alert the Play Store that the smartwatch does not need an app for Android phones. It can "appear in the Play Store on watches paired to iPhones."

There are chances that the standalone apps' network bandwidth is lower than users' expectations, as the Android Wear 2.0 platform will essentially balance the bandwidth with battery saving.

Bug Fixes And Improvements

Google has confirmed that the Wearable Support Library will be another addition in Android Wear 2.0. However, the company has not yet divulged much information about the emulator or watch image for the release.

The fifth developer preview also contains several enhancements and bug fixes such as an improved Navigation Drawer. This enhancement will enable users to shift to single page, icon-only drawer. With this improved feature the navigation process becomes quite seamless.

As Google has been working hard to bring an enhanced version of Android Wear for its users, it has also tried to incorporate the Near Field Communication (NFC) HCE support along with the ProGuard configuration.

Thanks to the ProGuard configuration the "data container classes" will not be complicated any more. Its addition also offers a fix for the error ClassNotFoundException, which occurs when a watch face is attempting to access information provided by the complication data server.

Launch

Even though Google merely states that Android Wear 2.0 will be made available in the first half of February, previous reports have pointed to a Feb. 9 release for the OS. It remains to be seen if Android Wear 2.0 indeed goes live on this date or if a longer wait is in store.

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