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Wear OS Release Notes

This page contains information related to Wear OS by Google.

2018-March-27 Wear OS Developer Preview 1

Date: 2018-Mar-27

This section contains information about Developer Preview 1 of Wear OS by Google. We expect to provide several updates to this preview before the final production release. Please submit any bugs you find via the Wear OS by Google issue tracker. The earlier you submit them, the higher the likelihood that we can include the fixes in the final release.

Emulator and downloadable image

Preview images and emulators incorporate Android P Preview features in Wear OS.

A Developer Preview version of the Wear emulator is available in Android Studio; see Wear OS preview setup.

Note: Before downloading an image, please review the Known issues.

Here are the images for testing and developing apps for the next Wear OS release:

Known issues

Highlights in this developer preview

Developer Preview 1 includes the following features for app testing:

Updates to the Wearable Support Library, v2.3.0

The v2.3.0 documentation update for the Wearable Support Library includes rebranding updates.

Additionally, v2.3.0 of the library includes updates related to ComplicationDrawable and TextRenderer, for text that has markup objects attached to text ranges. These classes have improved handling of Spanned texts. Only a certain subset of spans are allowed to be rendered (see the setText method for the span types that can be drawn), so the spans don't look out-of-place when rendered in a watch face.

2018-March-15 Rebranding of Wear

Date: 2018-March-15

This section contains information about Wear OS features.

New name for Android Wear

Android Wear has been renamed to Wear OS by Google.

2018-Feb-27 Ambient Mode Update

Date: 2018-Feb-27

This section contains information about new Android Wear features.

New class for supporting ambient mode

The 27.1.0 version of the Android Support Library contains a new class, AmbientModeSupport, which replaces the now-deprecated AmbientMode class. Updates to samples are planned in upcoming weeks.

2018-Jan-25 Final Emulator and More

Date: 2018-Jan-25

This section contains information about new Android Wear features.

Android Emulator: Update for Wear

The final Wear-related update to the Android emulator is available for testing apps based on API version 26.

Enhancements in the Wearable Support Library, v2.2.0

The 2.2.0 version of the Wearable Support Library includes the updates described below.

A new unread notification indicator

Because users want to be aware of unread notifications, a new indicator is provided: an encircled dot at the bottom of the watch face. Mechanisms are available if you prefer to manage notifications on your own. You can use setHideNotificationIndicator to hide the default indicator whilst displaying your own or setShowUnreadCountIndicator to display a notification count in the status bar.

Customize the color of the outer ring of the unread notification indicator with the setAccentColor method.

Note: The unread notifications indicator is not enabled in the production version of Wear 2.8.0. You are advised to test your implementation using the latest Wear emulator instead. Starting with the next consumer release of Wear (version 2.9.0), the unread notifications indicator will be displayed by default.

For more information, see Managing the unread notification indicator.

Enhancements to the ComplicationDrawable class

The ComplicationDrawable class starts a permission request for a watch face that is tapped when the system indicates a value of TYPE_NO_PERMISSION (indicating that the watch face lacks permission to get the complication data).

Additionally, the ComplicationDrawable class invalidates itself when it finishes loading images or when a tap highlight expires. To respond to this invalidation (e.g., to redraw your watch face), add a Drawable.Callback.

Known issues

2017-Dec-18 New Access to Google Play Services

This section contains information about new Android Wear features.

Migrating away from the GoogleApiClient class

Starting with version 11.8.0 of Google Play services, Wear apps should migrate away from the GoogleApiClient class and instead use API client objects that are based on the GoogleApi class, as well as the Tasks API.

Note: This update does not apply to Android Wear apps for China, which generally use version 10.2.0 of Google Play services.

For more information, see:

New components for connecting with Google Play services

When you use classes that extend the GoogleApi class, such as DataClient and MessageClient, the Google Play services SDK manages connections to Google Play services for you; see the related blog posting. Apps that use these classes no longer need to create and manage GoogleApiClient objects.

For the replacements of Wear-related components for connecting to Google Play services, see Replacements for Deprecated Components. For releases and known issues related to Google Play services, see the Release Notes for Google Play services.

Note: If you compile your app with the latest version of Google Play services, users are prompted to update their devices to that latest version. However, a known issue for apps that target API version 26 may prevent users from being prompted to update their devices. This issue is described in the Release Notes for Google Play services.

2017-Oct-25 Ambient Mode and More

This section contains information about new Android Wear features.

Android Support Library, v27.0.0: Features and bugfixes

The 27.0.0 version of the Android Support Library contains new features for Wear, described below.

New, preferred way to support ambient mode

Ambient mode enables a Wear app to remain visible to a user when the device goes idle. The Android Support Library has a new, preferred way for your apps to use ambient mode. The Wear team seeks developer feedback about this significant change.

Specifically, using the AmbientMode class enables you to benefit from:

See Ambient Mode Using the AmbientMode Class.

Manifest metadata constants in the Android Support Library

Constants for Android Wear apps, for the meta-data tag in the Android Manifest file, are now available in the Android Support Library. To use the constants (for standalone apps, notification bridging mode, and watch face preview images), add a reference to the following in the dependencies section of the app module's build.gradle file (requires the latest version of the Google Repository):

compile 'com.android.support:wear:27.0.0'

Action drawer updates

Updates are available to the WearableActionDrawerView class, which is used for creating a wearable action drawer. In the latest version:

Inflation of the RoundedDrawable class

Assuming an API level of at least 24, the RoundedDrawable class can now be inflated from a drawable XML file; see Custom drawables.

Wearable Support Library, v2.1.0: Enhancements and more

The 2.1.0 version of the Wearable Support Library includes the updates described below and requires Android Support Library version 26.0.2 or higher.

Supplying burn-in-safe images for ambient mode

The ComplicationDrawable class enables you to supply burn-in-safe images for ambient mode. Specifically, a ComplicationData object's burn-in protection small image field enables a watch face to display a small image (in the SMALL_IMAGE complication type) in ambient mode, when burn-in protection is enabled.

Tap event updates for complications

The ComplicationDrawable class has a new onTap method that enables your watch face to pass tap events to complications. The new method builds on the existing functionality in which a tap on the watch face triggers the WatchFaceService.Engine.onTapCommand method.

You can pass the coordinates to a ComplicationDrawable with an onTap call, to launch the action associated with the ComplicationDrawable that contains the tap coordinates. When the new onTap method is called, you can use a return value of true to see if a ComplicationDrawable launched the action associated with it.

Additionally, the setHighlightDuration method sets the duration for a complication to remain highlighted after the onTap method is called.

Progress bar for ranged value complications

If you prefer to draw your own progress bar for ranged value complications in your watch face, you may use the setRangedValueProgressHidden method of the ComplicationDrawable class to hide the ranged value progress that's drawn by the ComplicationDrawable.

2017-Oct-02 Android Wear Beta

Date: 2017-Oct-02
Build: OWP4.170828.008
Supported device: LG Watch Sport

This section contains known issues for an Android Wear beta release. For information about the beta program and/or to enroll, see the Android beta page.

Known issues

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