Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

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

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

The new chipset will be especially notable because it will be designed for scratch for smartwatch uses, unlike the Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip which was basically a mobile bit of silicon reworked for wearable use. So for example, after asking about the weather, the Assistant in Wear OS will also provide you with an extended forecast covering the next five days.

Last year Google's big change to the flop OS was making it more of a standalone platform - so it could work much better with an iPhone. Google renamed the Android Wear Platform to Wear OS sometime back and while we expected new features for the platform, Google has failed to deliver them. That was when the chip-maker released the Snapdragon Wear 2100 system. A quick press of the side button will show the time and a longer press will restore functionality.

For some time, smartwatches rocking Wear OS, formerly known as Android Wear, were saddled with Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, regardless of the brand of smartwatch they had strapped to their wrists.

Wear OS' second battery saving measure is an enhanced battery saver mode. Over on the Android Developer blog, the company is highlighting some key features for developer preview 2, which launches this week.

The first generation of smartwatches based on Android Wear were utilising the Snapdragon 400 which was basically a modified mobile chip.

We discussed Android P, Google Assistant, Google Photos, and also the most important things that Google did not mention during its I/O 2018 keynote, on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

It looks like Qualcomm's chipsets are now more compatible with Project Treble, which is Google's new hardware interface architecture for Android that aims to make updates easier for manufacturers. All of them will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as standard, fitness and sports-oriented chips will have Global Positioning System and some of them will have LTE. The integration is deeper than ever before, as Wear OS powered smartwatches can now be leveraged to control smart devices.

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