The fifth and final Android Wear 2.0 developer preview is finally here, bringing one pretty massive feature to the new wearable operating system — full iOS support. What that means is developers will be able to create iPhone apps that support Android Wear watches.
Previously, Android Wear watches connected to iOS could only access watch faces and apps that were distributed by Google through the Android Wear iOS app.
Of course, iOS support isn’t the only addition to the last developer preview of Android Wear 2.0. The operating system also adds a navigation drawer app, as well as support for NFC Host Card Emulation — which means you’ll soon be able to pay for things using Android Pay on your Android Wear watch. The operating system will also get a few bug fixes.
Support for iOS is an important feature for Android Wear. What it means is that the millions of iPhone users who don’t own an Apple Watch can instead opt for an Android Wear device — while Android users can’t connect an Apple Watch to their smartphones.
Developers might also like to know that apps compiled with this version of Android Wear 2.0 can be submitted for publication to the Google Play Store — where they’ll be available for users with an Android Wear 2.0 device to install.
The new developer preview for Android Wear signals that we’re getting closer and closer to a public release. Google says that the operating system will be available in early February, and reports indicate that it will finally be launched on February 9. Not only that, but the operating system will debut on a pair of new LG smartwatches, called the LG Watch Style and the LG Watch Sport. These two watches have been leaked a few times, drawing a mixed reaction regarding their design.
- The most common Wear OS problems and how to fix them
- The best Wear OS apps for your Google-powered smartwatch
- Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?
- Here’s what Google has in store for us with Android 12
- From Android 1.0 to Android 10, here’s how Google’s OS evolved over a decade