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Some Smartwatches Are Getting Android Wear 2.8, Bringing Darker Backgrounds, Better Notification Layouts

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It has been a while since Google announced anything for Android Wear, but new information about the version 2.8 update reveals several changes and tweaks.

According to some Reddit users, they noticed that their watches were prompted with a new software update.

After Google upgraded its smartwatch operating system to version 2.0, compatible wearables no longer needed OTA firmware updates to receive new features. Instead, new functions and tweaks are delivered via the Google Play Store via the Wear companion app.

Google's Changelog

The release notes for the new version were recently uploaded and indicated what the new version includes.

"This new update has improved notification glanceability with a new layout, which shows more of your messages at a glance," as listed by Google. "We have also made the background darker for better readability."

Highlights Of The Upgrade

Users observed that the Android Wear version 2.8 update has made the smartwatch's background darker to improve readability. Instead of the former color, which is gray, the new one sports a black scheme for notifications, app list, quick settings panel, and Google Assistant.

What is fascinating is that the color adjustment tweak seems to work only on specific types of display. LCD and P-OLED models still retain the old grey background it seems. Furthermore, the changes made to notifications actually adjusted the text size in order to show more information.

AMOLED types like the Huawei Watch 2 apparently got the black background. However, another set of users claim that the Misfit Vapor, which sports the aforementioned screen tech did not get the color adjustment.

Experts believe that AMOLED screens on some particular brands of smartwatch will definitely benefit from the new settings. As of now, Google has not shared what particular model and brand will receive the tweaks.

How To Update

Users who have upgraded to Android Wear 2.8 recall that they received the new features after they got a prompt to update the Wear companion app via the Play Store. The process appears to be in line with how Google indicated the new firmware will handle changes.

One user noted that the Wear companion app on the smartphone shows that it updated from version 2.7.0.1776694 to version 2.7.0.180439970. In the meantime, the software of the smartwatch has gone up to 2.8.0.181612071.

Google might be rolling out the updates in small batches to verify if there are any problems and should be widely available soon.

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