Google has introduced Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview, which brings with it a host of new features. The most notable feature added is the ability to run watch apps as standalone apps. “Developer Preview 4 includes a number of new APIs that will help you build more powerful standalone apps,” said Hoi Lam, Developer Advocate in Android Developers Blog. Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview also introduces new APIs for seamless authentication, in-app billing as well as swipe-to-dismiss. Other minor additions include action and navigation drawers, WearableRecyclerView and Burn-in protection icon for complications.
Here is a look at all the new features of Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview:
Google has rolled out new APIs for developers to help make authentication seamless on Android phone and iPhone. There’s added support for one-click Google Sign-in as well. “With the OAuth API for Android Wear, users can tap a button on the watch that opens an authentication screen on the phone,” explains Lam. Next, the watch app will authenticate with APIs on your server side directly. Google Sign-In makes authentication easier, where all you need to do is select the account you want to authenticate with and you’re done.
Google is adding in-app billing support to Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview as well. Users can make payments via watch using a 4-digit Google Account PIN.
Google has added two new APIs (PlayStoreAvailability and RemoteIntent) that will allow users to browse through the Play Store on a paired device, making it easier to install apps. Google is giving developers the ability to open custom URLs on the phone from the watch using the new RemoteIntent API.
Google is bringing back the swipe-to-dismiss gesture from Android Wear 1.0. The company made several API changes to support swipe-to-dismiss in this release. For starters, the gesture will now be automatically supported by activities. Also, swiping an activity from left to right will dismiss an app. Also, the hardware button will now be used as ‘power’ button instead of ‘back’ button in Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview.
Compatibility with Android Wear 1.0 apps
Android Wear 2.0 has support for embedded app mechanism from Android Wear 1.0 watches. Google will prompt users to install embedded Android Wear app via notifications. In case users decide to install the embedded app, they’ll be available in the Play Store on Android Wear under a special section called “Apps you’ve used”.