Google releases second developer preview of Android Wear 2.0

Google has released the second preview update for Android Wear 2.0, featuring new capabilities and bug fixes. This release sees the introduction of Platform API 24 to Android Wear, matching Android Nougat. This release also opens Android Wear's wrist gestures feature to third-party developers.

Here's what's new in Preview 2, according to Google:

  • Platform API 24 - We have incremented the Android Platform API version number to 24 to match Nougat. You can now update your Android Wear 2.0 Preview project's compileSdkVersion to API 24, and we recommend that you also update targetSdkVersion to API 24.
  • Wearable Drawers Enhancements - We launched the wearable drawers as part of the Android Wear 2.0 Preview 1, along with UX guidelines on how to best integrate the navigation drawer and action drawer in your Android Wear app. In Preview 2, we have added additional support for wearable drawer peeking, to make it easier for users to access these drawers as they scroll. Other UI improvements include automatic peek view and navigation drawer closure and showing the first action in WearableActionDrawer's peek view. For developers that want to make custom wearable drawers, we've added peek_view and drawer_content attributes to WearableDrawerView. And finally, navigation drawer contents can now be updated by calling notifyDataSetChanged.
  • Wrist Gestures: Since last year, users have been able to scroll through the notification stream via wrist gestures. We have now opened this system to developers to use within their applications. This helps improve single hand usage, for when your users need their other hand to hold onto their shopping or their kids.

Developers looking to start development for Android Wear 2.0 can head over to Google's Developer Preview site to download the preview, along with the documentation. Android Wear 2.0 is expected to launch for customers later this year, bringing enhancements like custom complications, new text input methods, and more.

Joseph Keller