The new build for Google’s official smartwatch/wearable platform – the second version, that is Android Wear 2.0 – is probably very near final, so this is good news for all of you who have latched on to the Android smartwatch bandwagon. The mothership is rolling out what is the final Developer Preview of Android Wear 2.0, and it’s got a few new things in store.
The big encouragement from Google is actually for Android Wear developers, that they make their apps ready for Android Wear 2.0 – which we recently discovered would have an on-device Play Store. This means that smartwatches running Android Wear 2.0 will be less dependent on pairing with an Android smartphone to dictate which apps you want to install – you can install directly on the Play Store from your wrist, as it were.
Also, this final developer preview will now have iOS support. A lot of people may not have known that Android Wear devices have been usable with iPhone devices since 2015. Google is now saying that developers can now toggle the “standalone” flag in their app manifest so they can distribute their apps to smartwatches paired with iOS devices.
Google says that the consumer launch for Android Wear 2.0 will be “sometime in February” so that isn’t too far away. Developers are reminded to get their apps ready, and hopefully this will mean a more robust Android Wear platform when version 2.0 is launched.