Google has confirmed that Android Wear 2.0 will launch next month, as the company sends the software’s final preview version live.
In a post on Google’s Android blog, Developer Advocate Hoi Lam wrote: “Thank you of the fantastic level of feedback we have gotten from you as developers,” adding: “Be sure to publish your apps before the Android Wear 2.0 consumer launch in early February.”
Android Wear 2.0 is the long-awaited major update for Google’s smartwatch OS, and introduces significant changes, including support for third-party complications, smaller notifications, a more refined ‘Material Design’ aesthetic, new input methods – including several keyboard inputs.
But the big change is that Google will now let Android Wear apps work independently of phone apps, which means an app on your smartwatch will still be able to function even if your phone isn’t nearby. This should reduce file sizes of apps on your phone, as currently Android Wear apps are being embedded into their corresponding phone apps.
Today, Google released the fifth and final developer preview for Android Wear 2.0. The main change in this final update is the introduction of iOS support, but there are a bunch of bug fixes and enhancements too.
The good news is that you’ll soon be able to access all of these features on a standard smartwatch – without the need for developer preview. But the bad news is that not all smartwatches will be eligible for the upgrade. For instance, the first-generation LG G Watch and Moto 360 wearables won’t b upgraded.
You can find a list of supported devices over in our Android Wear 2.0 guide.
Related: Best Smartwatch 2017
Watch: Best Smartphone 2017
Do you own a smartwatch yet? Tell us why – or why not – in the comments below.