Android Wear 2.0 is here with new hardware features!

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Posted by Hoi Lam, Lead
Developer Advocate, Android Wear

Today, we are releasing the final SDK for Android Wear 2.0. In this release, we
have added support for the new
hardware features announced yesterday. If you have not done so already, it
really is time to publish
your apps so as to not miss the consumer hardware launch tomorrow.

Throughout the developer preview program, you have given us a lot of
constructive feedback as well as bug reports. Thank you again!

Android Wear 2.0 recap

Android Wear 2.0 is our biggest update since we launched Wear in 2014, with
numerous platform and developer enhancements. Some of the highlights include:

  • Material Design
    for Android Wear
    – A new system user interface and design
    guidelines, featuring a darker colour palette, vertical layout and visual
    components such as the WearableRecyclerView and
    WearableNavigationDrawer. We have also enhanced notifications on
    the watch with the new MessagingStyle rich notification style and
    inline actions.
  • Watch
    Face Complications
    – Complications are areas of the watch face that
    display information other than time. Apps can supply data to supported watch
    faces by creating a ComplicationProviderService, and watch faces
    can render this data in a style that suits the watch face design.
  • Standalone
    Android Wear apps and iOS support
    – Apps can now be downloaded
    directly to Wear devices via an on-watch Google Play Store. In addition, these
    apps can access the internet directly without relying on phone apps. This means
    that apps can now run on Android Wear devices that are paired to iOS

New hardware support

The first two watches with Android Wear 2.0 give users more ways to interact
with their smartwatches. In the final SDK, we have added API support for
physical button
locations and rotary
input. At present, developers will need the new LG Watch Style or LG Watch
Sport to test these new functionalities; however, we are working to add these
new hardware features to the emulator. Stay tuned for updates! The SDK also
includes a few other final bug fixes, such as support for more than three items
in the Wearable Action Drawer.

App review changes

Now that Android Wear 2.0 is live, we’ll soon update the Android
Wear App Quality review process with two important changes. First, enhancing
your phone app notifications for Android Wear will no longer be sufficient for
passing the review. Second, it will soon be required that you upload a watch APK
that’s compatible with Android Wear 2.0. Only apps that pass these criteria will
receive badging in Play Store on the phone and be eligible for top charts for
Android Wear apps. These changes will ensure a more consistent experience for
users and allow us to streamline the review process for you.

The journey doesn’t stop here!

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The Android Wear 2.0 developer preview lasted longer than we originally planned,
but we think that the extra time has paid off in a big way. Thank you once again
for your input and patience. You helped us achieve a higher quality bar than we
could have achieved on our own.

We have integrated the Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview documentation into the main Wear developer
documentation site, and have also made factory images available for the
preview devices. For developer related bugs, please continue to file
developer bug reports or post comments in our Android Wear
Developers community.

From the Android Wear team: Thank you again for your feedback and support!

Android Developers Blog

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