Google Releases Fifth & Final Android Wear 2.0 Preview

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On Tuesday, Google released the fifth Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview, which is actually the final preview before it launches. Rumors are pegging the launch for February 9th, although Google isn't mentioning any dates yet. Their blog post does note that it'll be launching in early February.

This new developer preview is basically the final release, with just a few bugs that are left to be worked out. This preview brings iOS support to the platform, and developers are now able to begin publishing their Android Wear 2.0 apps. This way when the platform launches next month, users will be able to download and use a plethora of compatible apps. However, before submitting your app(s) to the Google Play Store, you'll want to make sure it's compiled with API level 25 and the update to the support library that comes with the fifth developer preview. If your apps are compiled with both the API level 25 and the updated Wearable Support Library, then your apps are "considered ready for deployment" and compatible.

Google did fix a few other bugs with this developer preview. For instance with the navigation drawer, they added the ability to flip a flag to toggle to the single-page action drawer, making it faster and easier to navigate through different views in the app. NFC Host Card Emulation is also now supported. And finally the ProGuard and Complication API are here for developers.

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Android Wear 2.0 is the biggest update to Android Wear, ever, and it was originally planned to launch in the fall of 2016, however it was delayed until early 2017. Now it appears to be launching next month, in a couple of short weeks. Unless any major bugs are found with this latest developer preview, it should be launching in a couple of weeks. Google is also rumored to be launching a few new smartwatches next month, most notably two with LG that have been leaking out quite a bit lately. There are a slew of current smartwatches that will be getting the update to Android Wear 2.0, and that should happen pretty soon. Although, as is the case with other updates, not all smartwatches will be updated at the same time.