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The First Wear OS Developer Preview Is All About Battery Life

Posted March 28, 2018 | Android P | Android Wear | Google | Wear OS | Windows

Earlier this month, Google ditched the Android Wear brand for a new, universal branding: Wear OS. The company’s smartwatch platform is getting its first developer preview today, and developers with the Huawei Watch 2 Bluetooth or Huawei Watch 2 Classic Bluetooth can now try out the first ever Wear OS preview.

Google is bringing some of the early Android P platform features to Wear OS with the first developer preview, as well as a bunch of other battery life-related improvements. Google is introducing a default dark system theme for the entirety of Watch OS, which previously only had a dark theme for the notification center. Google is encouraging app developers to implement dark themes for their own Watch OS apps, and it says the new dark theme will allow for improved glanceability.

To improve the battery life of Wear OS smartwatches, Google is limiting the background activity of apps by no longer allowing apps from running in the background unless the device is charging with the new update. Wear OS will also now turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other radios when the device isn’t in your wrist for an extended period of time, and Wi-Fi will be automatically disabled when the device isn’t connected via Bluetooth. Google says the changes will allow for improved power usage, which should result in improved battery life for smartwatches running Wear OS.

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