Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.

Google today released Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 5, which adds iOS support. This is the final developer preview, and apps compiled with it are ready for final submission to the Google Play Store.

Android Wear 2.0 was revealed at Google’s I/O 2016 developer conference, where the company called it “the most significant update to Android Wear” since the platform launched over two years ago. The final release to users was originally slated for the fall, but it has since been pushed back until early 2017.

Google has yet to share a launch date for Android Wear 2.0, though the company is now finally being slightly more specific: “early February.” VentureBeat reporter Evan Blass (evleaks) has pegged the date as February 9, when Google and LG will launch two new smartwatches.


In August 2015, Google made it possible to pair Android Wear watches with iPhones. Now, the fifth developer preview allows developers to distribute their apps to iPhone-paired watches as well.

To do so, set the standalone=true flag in your watch app manifest so that Google Play knows that an Android phone app is not required. It can then appear in the Play Store on watches paired to iPhones (see testing steps and bandwidth guidelines for more information). Android Wear apps running on watches paired with iOS devices can also now perform phone hand-off flows such as OAuth and RemoteIntent for launching a web page on a paired iOS device.

Other enhancement and bug fixes in this release include:

  • Navigation Drawer: Flip a flag to toggle to the single-page, icon-only action drawer, which provides faster, more streamlined navigation to different views in your app.
  • NFC HCE support: NFC Host Card Emulation FEATURE_NFC_HOST_CARD_EMULATION is now supported.
  • ProGuard and Complication API: New ProGuard configuration means complication data container classes will no longer be obfuscated. This fixes a ClassNotFoundException when watch faces are trying to access data supplied by a complication data provider.

Finally, the final developer preview includes an update to the Wearable Support Library — apps compiled with API level 25 and this support library are considered ready for Google Play deployment. The preview watch image and emulator have not been updated.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.