Google continues to drop news at I/O 2018 this week, today making some Wear OS news.
The Wear OS developer preview 2 update is now available. The update comes about a month and a half after the first Wear OS dev preview. Like that first update, the new Wear OS dev preview 2 is only available for the Huawei Watch 2 and Huawei Watch 2 Classic. If you’ve got either watch, you can download the update here.
As for what’s included in Wear OS developer preview 2, Google is adding Actions support for developers. Actions on Google let you use the Google Assistant to control products like smart home devices and use services like Domino’s and Uber. Google has also revamped Assistant on Wear OS to support features like visual cards, follow-on suggestion chips, and text-to-speech.
Also included in Wear OS developer preview 2 is an enhanced battery saver mode. When enabled, the watch will show a power-efficient watch face and turn off services like radios, the touch screen, and tilt to wake. Users can show the time by pressing the side button, while a long press will switch back to the fully-operational mode.
Rounding out the changes in Wear OS dev preview 2 is simplified Chinese support for Smart Reply in bridged notifications and a change to Wi-Fi off when Bluetooth is connected. In the previous Wear OS dev preview, Google made it so that watches wouldn’t connect to Wi-Fi when disconnected from Bluetooth in order to save power. After listening to user and developer feedback, though, Google has rolled back this change in Wear OS dev preview 2.
There’s still no word on when this major Wear OS update will roll out to all users. However, it’s good to see that Google is still committed to Wear OS and adding new features to it, especially since we haven’t exactly seen a ton of new Wear OS smartwatches come to market lately.