Google has announced the beta version of its next big Android Wear update. The new beta is based on Android 8.0 Oreo and brings a few new exciting features to the table. As Google mentioned during I/O 2017, the next version of Android Wear will be a technical upgrade to API 26 with enhancements related to background limits and notification channels.
After installing the new beta, you will be able to choose the type of notifications that you will receive via an app through notification channels. This will make it easier for you control notifications from individual apps instead of having to mute all notifications.
The update also brings increased restrictions on background services. Developers will need to adopt battery-saving practices such as using JobScheduler to make sure that their app is battery-efficient and perform background tasks when possible. This, coupled with other enhancements, should allow compatible Android Wear watches to deliver longer battery life with the new update installed.
For now, the update can be flashed via a ROM only on the LG Watch Sport. Developers can of course test out the new Android Wear Beta update using the Android Emulator. Google has also updated the emulator image for developers who are working with Android Wear for China. However, since it is a beta release, you should keep in mind that there are a few bugs that you will need to live with. So if you own an LG Watch Sport and wish to try out the new Android Wear Beta, make sure you go through the known issues page before enrolling for it. If you think you can live with the bugs, you need to visit this link to sign up for the new Android Wear Beta program. Once you have enrolled, you will need to make your way to System Settings and download the update via the software update menu. Before you install the update, it is required that you plug it in for charging.