Android 6 Marshmallow raining crop

For a while now, developers of Android Wear apps have had to cope with a handful of irritating details that made working in the environment less than awesome. However, Google has now updated the Android Wear SDK to include support for API 23, which is Android 6.0 Marshmallow functionality. This not only lets devs play with all the perks of Marshmallow, but it also solve a few developmental issues that had been plaguing the SDK for a while.

For example, API 23 allows developers to quickly distinguish between round and square Wear devices with the -round/-notround resource qualifiers. This takes care of a long-standing difficulty that made creating apps for the shape-variable universe of Android Wear cumbersome. Now this simple tag will let apps intelligently choose from a set of images and layouts to more appropriately fit the screen of a given device.

The update also brings a new runtime permissions model to the table, allowing devs and users to take advantage of Marshmallow’s ability to discretely determine permissions for individual apps. It also takes into account speakers for Wear devices, which until the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, had been silent. API 23 makes incorporating sounds into Wear apps as easy as doing so for smartphone or tablet apps.

Tired of uploading every version of your app to a Wear device to test it out? Google has pushed out an official Wear emulator just for you, then. This is sure to make Wear app development easier and quicker across the board. The emulator runs both Lollipop and Marshmallow, so you can easily make sure your app runs well on the vast majority of Wear devices currently on the market.