Google is rolling out an updated version of its Android Wear app. The app released as version 2.8 brings few changes including improved notification glanceability and support for darker background.
In a support forum post, Google notes that the update brings new layout for the notification glanceability feature that shows more of the user’s message at a glance. The update also makes the background darker for better readability. The update will be rolled out over the next few days, and will bring a major improvement to Google’s wearable platform.
Android Wear users must note that the update is not same as the OTA update released for smartwatches running Android Wear platform. It is merely an update for the Android Wear companion app installed on your phone. While in the past updates were generally released in the form of an OTA update, it is now possible to add new features via companion app. The new version of Android Wear app does exactly the same thing for Android Wear smartwatches.
The update seems to be adding the ability to have less unused space while reading notifications and might be adding an option to rebundle the notifications like it was prior to the release of Android Wear 2.0. The darker background will be useful since most Android Wear smartwatches in the market use an OLED display.
Android Wear, the platform that was meant to take on Apple’s watchOS and wearables from brands from Fitbit, has not seen a great adoption among Google’s OEM partners. LG made few smartwatches running Android Wear 2.0, but they were never released outside of the US and most of the support seems to be coming from traditional watchmakers like Fossil and Tag Heuer.
Android Wear also falls behind platforms like watchOS, Fitbit and Tizen OS found on Samsung’s Gear series. It is clear that Android Wear is here to live, but Google is yet to share details on when it will be a significantly important platform.