Google's Wear OS gets developer preview

  • TECH
  • Monday, 02 Apr 2018

A first version of Wear OS has been made available to developers. — AFP Relaxnews

Google has unveiled a first developers' version of its new Wear OS wearables operating system, set to replace the Android Wear brand. As well as boosting device battery life, the rebrand also brings the system in line with the new functions of Android P, the updated version of Google's mobile operating system, coming in fall 2018.

Google intends to entirely replace its wearables operating system, Android Wear, with Wear OS. While the final version isn't likely to roll out for several months, certain new features have already been unveiled in this first iteration, exclusively for developers.

For example, Wear OS gets a new dark interface (Dark UI). This system theme is now the default, aimed at improving the readability of onscreen content and minimising battery use. A black background can be seen in the notification stream and system launcher.

To further optimise device power and save battery life, applications will no longer be able to run in the background, unless the watch is charging.

It's high time that Google rethink its OS. Currently, Android Wear is mainly used in smartwatches made by Asus (ZenWatch 2 and 3), Fossil (Q Founder, Marshal, Wander), Huawei (Watch), Lenovo (Moto 360 Gen 2, Sport), LG (Watch Urbane, G Watch R) and Tag Heuer (Connected). But sales of these smartwatches are struggling to take off, according to industry researchers at International Data Corporation. Apple leads the way in the wearables market, ahead of Xiaomi, Fitbit and Garmin, all brands and products that do not use Android Wear.

More details on Wear OS and its upcoming launch are expected at the Google I/O conference, to be held May 8-10 in Mountain View, California. — AFP Relaxnews
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