The fifth and final developer preview for Android Wear 2.0, released with upload support to iOS apps. “Apps compiled with this preview are now ready for final submission to the Google Play Store,” writes Google.
Until now, pairing Android Wear watches with iPhones was available since 2015, and starting today, the ability to distribute apps to iPhone-paired watches is made available as well.
To make this, developers need to just set the “standalone=true” flag in the watch app manifest. Once set, “the Play Store would know that the watch app doesn’t require an Android phone app, and therefore can appear in Play Store on watches paired to iPhones,” explains Google.
To pair your watch to an iPhone and test, follow the steps outlined here.
Also, watches paired with iOS devices and running Android Wear apps for launching a web page will be able to perform phone hand-off flows such as OAuth and RemoteIntent.
And, as the platform balances battery savings vs network bandwidth, “the network bandwidth for standalone apps can be lower than expected,” so check guidelines including accessing Wi-Fi and cellular networks on watches paired with iPhones.
Apps compiled with API level 25 and Wearable Support Library are considered ready for deployment in Google Play Store. Other enhancement such as:
- Navigation Drawer: Flip a flag to toggle to single-page, icon-only action drawer, which provides faster, more streamlined navigation to different views in the app.
- NFC Host Card Emulation FEATURE_NFC_HOST_CARD_EMULATION is now supported.
- ProGuard and Complication API: New ProGuard configuration means complication data container classes will no longer be obfuscated. This fixes a ClassNotFoundException when watch faces are trying to access data supplied by a complication data provider.
There are no updates to the preview watch image or emulator in this developer preview release, Google says. The final release of Android Wear 2.0 schedule for an early February.