Google won’t limit the latest version of Android to phones and tablets. Android P will also be available for wearables. The company announced that it’s launching a developer preview for the Huawei Watch 2, making that the smartwatch developers should test on to have their apps prepared for the major software update coming later this year.
The developer preview comes as Wear OS replaces Android Wear. Although the overall product is largely unchanged so far, Google wanted the rebranding to appear more neutral to Android and iOS devices.
Android P for wearables focuses a lot on efficiency, in terms of both performance and power. Google would like smartwatches to run fast but also last long on a single charge. The developer preview includes a dark theme, limited background activity, turning off radios when a smartwatch isn’t on a user’s wrist. As you can tell, this is meant for developers to understand how apps will behave rather than showing off new consumer-facing features.
If you have an Android Wear device today, check out this list of smartwatches that are scheduled to get Wear OS at some point in the near future. It’s expected that all of them will also get Android P near the end of 2018.