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Wear OS 5 launches developer preview with longer battery life

Google is bringing Wear OS 5, a new version of its smartwatch operating system, into developer preview. This latest version is one of many announcements from the Google I/O 2024 developer conference, focusing on improved battery life and other performance improvements, such as more efficient workout tracking. Developers also get updated tools for creating watch faces, as well as new versions of Wear OS Tiles and Jetpack Compose for building watch apps.

Battery life will be a key upgrade that consumers will appreciate, thanks to improvements in the way some software works. For example, Google says that with the workout tracking update, running a marathon consumes 20% less battery than the previous version of Wear OS 4.

The company also released a guide for developers to help them make more efficient apps.

After releasing the watch face format as part of Wear OS 4 last year, Google is updating the watch face designer, which currently powers 30% of the watch faces in Google Play. In an effort to drive more developers to adopt the format, Google said it will now restrict some data sources for complex features built using Android

Image Source: Google

Additionally, Jetpack Compose for Wear OS version 1.3 has also been released, focusing on updates to help developers build across form factors, including Wear OS.

Image Source: Google

Meanwhile, version 1.4 of the Jetplack Tiles library (now in alpha) is adding preview support for Android Studio to help developers build Wear OS Tiles — swipeable screens that provide information or actions for WearOS apps. Other improvements will help with the layout of text and other data on tiles and will help developers’ applications determine which tiles are being used.

Image Source: Google

Other updates include a new sensor panel for testing an app’s use of Google Health Services, and new guidance for building responsive Wear OS apps on different screen sizes.

Some new tools will be available in the Android Studio Koala Feature Drop (Canary).

Read more about Google I/O 2024 at TechCrunch

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