Wear OS Dev Preview 2: Actions on Google, Battery Saver

Wear OS Dev Preview 2: Actions on Google, Battery Saver

So much of our attention right now is focused on what's new with the Android P Beta, but it's not the only platform update Google's introducing this week at I/O. However, we're curious to know if Wear OS can match Apple's watchOS in terms of its apps support.

So there's hope for Wear OS users to get a core hardware platform that modernises their next smartwatch purchase. That's finally going to happen later this year as Qualcomm has confirmed that it will be releasing a new processor for Wear OS smartwatches this year. Part of this can be attributed to the ageing Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipsets used by many of these devices. Users can enable the feature by pressing the side button and resume normal activity on the smartwatch with a long press.

According to Pankaj Kedia, Qualcomm's senior director of wearables, Qualcomm will unveil its new chipset alongside a new flagship/lead smartwatch in Spring (Australian time) and by the Christmas holidays the chipset will be on the market in several manufacturer's smartwatches.

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The biggest news here is the addition of an "enhanced battery saver mode".

"This joint exertion tends to OS selection by giving gadgets presently controlled by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Snapdragon 660, and Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platforms with early access to the freshest Android OS: P", says Mike Genewich, executive of Android Product Management, Qualcomm, in a blog entry.

This new chipset will allow for "dedicated chips that make your watch look pretty when you're not looking at it, that brings the best fitness and watch experience, and extends battery life", Kedia said.

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The Snapdragon 400 that powered the first Wear devices were originally phones chips with slight customizations.

In the past couple of years, there have been a large number of brands that have come on board the Android Wear wagon, most of these are the same watch inside but different design. All the new chips will have the usual Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and 4G LTE connections may become more commonplace. Plus, it was outdated at its launch in 2016. This does presume that all Wear OS devices will have at least one button.

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