Google has announced that they’ll be rolling out a beta version of their next Android Wear update, which will mainly include a technical upgrade to API 26 with enhancements to background limits and notification channels.
First announced during the Google I/O 2017, the Android Wear beta update will now be available to LG Watch Sport users who can go to the webpage to sign up and a factory image will be downloaded to the watch during the registration.
This Android Wear update is currently in beta, hence, users are recommended to be cautious before enrolling and to ensure that they’ve reviewed the known issues beforehand. The company believes that this will be the final beta release before the final product is rolled out.
Those who don’t have a compatible watch but will still like to test the new beta build can do so via an Android emulator. An updated emulator image is also available for developers working with Android Wear for China.
Better Control Over Notifications
Following this update, users will be able to choose the types of notifications that they receive via the notification channels. This gives users better control instead of simply muting all notifications from the app.
The channel for notifications from the apps on Android Wear can be customized too, allowing users to choose what they want to see on their watch.
“For notifications bridged from the phone, the phone notifications channel settings will dictate what is shown on the watch,” read the official statement.
Restrictions on background services have been increased following the latest beta update to the Android Wear. Google has gone as far as to say that ‘developers should assume services can no longer run in the background without a visible notification’.
This might bring good news for those lamenting over battery life on Android Watch as background operations require a lot of juice. Background location update frequency will also be reduced.
The company has also suggested that in order to optimize background services, JobScheduler should be used to ensure that the app is battery-efficient and is able to perform background tasks when needed.