Home Gadgets Wear OS 5 hits developer preview, offering better battery life

Wear OS 5 hits developer preview, offering better battery life

Google is introducing a new version of its smartwatch operating system, Wear OS 5, into developer preview. This latest release, one of many announcements from the Google I/O 2024 developer conference, focuses on improved battery life and other performance improvements, like more efficient workout tracking. Developers are also getting updated tools for creating watch faces, as well as new versions of Wear OS tiles and Jetpack Compose for building watch apps.

Battery life will be the key upgrade consumers will appreciate, which is aided by improvements to how some of the software works. For instance, with the workout tracking updates, running a marathon uses 20% less power than on the prior version, Wear OS 4, says Google.

The company is also releasing a guide for developers to help them make more efficient apps.

Following last year’s release of Watch Face formats as part of Wear OS 4, Google is updating the face designer that now powers 30% of watch faces in Google Play. To push more developers over to the format, Google says it will now restrict some data sources for complications built with AndroidX or the Wearable Support Library and will implement publishing limitations to watch faces built with these libraries.

Image Credits: Google

In addition, Jetpack Compose for Wear OS version 1.3 is being released, with a focus on updates that help developers build across form factors, including Wear OS.

Image Credits: Google

Meanwhile, version 1.4 of the Jetpack Tiles library, now in alpha, is adding preview support for Android Studio to help developers build Wear OS Tiles — the swipeable screens that provide information or access to actions for a WearOS app. Other improvements will help with the layout of text and other data on the tiles, and will help developers’ apps determine which of their tiles are being used.

Image Credits: Google

Other updates include a new sensor panel to test an app’s use of Google Health Services and new guidelines for building responsive Wear OS apps across different screen sizes.

Some of the new tooling will roll out in Android Studio Koala Feature Drop (Canary).

Read more about Google I/O 2024 on TechCrunch



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