Wear OS developer preview updated with more (and less) power saving

Power management has been a hot button issue on Google’s Wear OS platform. The first developer preview, tied to the first Android P preview, launched with a couple of particular changes to reduce background processes and limit on-board radios from sapping power unnecessarily.

Well, one of those features has been rolled back. Google will not go through with a change that would prevent devices from connecting to Wi-Fi when a Bluetooth connection is cut. The company is also responding to pushback from health and fitness app publishers whose products rely on background biometric tracking, telling them to use foreground services and to limit more intensive jobs to when the watch is being charged.

Onto completely new features such as link to Actions on Google, which would allow Google Assistant on Wear OS to connect to a third-party bot for services such as food delivery or toggling of smart appliances. That said, it’s more of an update to Google Assistant, so Android Wear 2.0 users will see this change as well.

The enhanced battery saver mode for Wear OS puts the device into confined operating parameters. The mode turns off radios, the touch screen and tilt to wake. It also limits the press of the hardware button to a flash of the time. A long press will restore full functionality.

Finally, Smart Reply will be extended to message notifications shown on Wear OS and will also be available in Simplified Chinese.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.