Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 3: Play Store and More

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Posted by Hoi Lam, Developer
Advocate

Today we’re launching the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 with a big new addition:
Google Play on Android Wear. The Play Store app makes it easy for users to find
and install apps directly on the watch, helping developers like you reach more
users.

Play Store features

With Play Store for Android Wear, users can browse recommended apps in the home
view and search for apps using voice, keyboard, handwriting, and recommended
queries, so they can find apps more easily. Users can switch between multiple
accounts, be part of alpha
and beta tests, and update or uninstall apps in the “My apps” view on their
watch, so they can manage apps more easily. Perhaps the coolest feature: If
users want an app on their watch but not on their phone, they can install only
the watch app. In fact, in Android Wear 2.0, phone apps are no longer necessary.
You can now build and publish watch-only apps for users to discover on Google
Play.

Why an on-watch store?

We asked developers like you what you wanted most out of Android Wear, and you
told us you wanted to make it easier for users to discover apps. So we ran
studies with users to find out where they expected and wanted to discover
apps––and they repeatedly looked for and asked for a way to discover apps right
on the watch itself. Along with improvements to app discovery on the phone and
web, the Play Store on the watch helps users find apps right where they need
them.

Publish your apps

To make your apps available on Play Store for Android Wear, just follow
these steps. You’ll need to make sure your Android Wear 2.0 apps set
minSdkVersion to 24 or higher, use the runtime
permissions model, and are uploaded via multi-APK using the Play Developer
Console. If your app supports Android Wear 1.0, the developer
guide also covers the use of product flavors in Gradle.

Download the New Android Wear companion app

To set up Developer Preview 3, you’ll need to install a beta version of the
Android Wear app on your phone, flash your watch to the latest preview release,
and use the phone app to add a Google Account to your watch. These steps are
detailed in Download and
Test with a Device. If you don’t have a watch to test on, you can use the
emulator as well.

Other additions in Developer Preview 3

Developer Preview 3 also includes:

  • Complications improvements: Starting with Developer Preview
    3, watch face developers will need to request
    RECEIVE_COMPLICATION_DATA permission before the watch face can receive
    complication data. We have added ComplicationHelperActivity to make
    this easier. In addition, watch face developers can now set
    default complications, including a selection of system data complications
    which do not require special permission (e.g. battery level and step count), as
    well as data providers that have whitelisted the watch face. Lastly, there are
    behavior changes related to ComplicationData to 1) help better
    differentiate various
    scenarios leading to “empty data” and 2) ease development by returning a default
    value for fields not supported by a complication type instead of throwing a
    runtime exception.

  • New WearableRecyclerView:
    This new UI component helps developers display and manipulate vertical lists of
    items while optimizing for round displays.

  • Inline
    Action for Notifications:
    A new API makes it easy to take action on
    a notification right from the stream. Developers can specify which action is
    displayed inline at the bottom of the notification by calling setHintDisplayActionInline:

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    NotificationCompat.Action replyAction =
        new NotificationCompat.Action.Builder(R.drawable.ic_message_white_24dp,
                "Reply", replyPendingIntent)
                .addRemoteInput(remoteInput)
                .extend(new NotificationCompat.Action.WearableExtender()
                        .setHintDisplayActionInline(true))
                .build(); 
  • Smart
    Reply:
    Android Wear now generates Smart Reply responses for
    MessagingStyle
    notifications. Smart Reply responses are generated by an entirely on-watch
    machine learning model using the context provided by the
    MessagingStyle notification, and no data is uploaded to the cloud
    to generate the responses.

  • And much more: Read about the complete list of changes in
    the Android Wear developer preview release
    notes.

    Timeline

    We’ve gotten tons of great feedback from the developer community about Android
    Wear 2.0––thank you! We’ve decided to continue the preview program into early
    2017, at which point the first watches will receive Android Wear 2.0. Please
    keep the feedback coming by filing bugs
    or posting in our Android Wear
    Developers community, and stay tuned for Android Wear Developer Preview 4.


    Android Developers Blog

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