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Android P Wear OS DP2 available now, rolls back controversial change
- The second Android P Wear OS developer preview is out now.
- The biggest change is the rollback of the controversial auto-shut-off of Wi-Fi introduced in March.
- As before, the preview only works on the Huawei Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic.
At the end of March, Google released the developer preview of Android P in Wear OS. Now, less than two months later, the company released the second Android P Wear OS developer preview – and it rolls back a controversial change.
The primary focus of the newest version of Wear OS is to improve battery life on wearables like smartwatches. One of the ways the first developer preview accomplished this was to turn off Wi-Fi when a wearable is not connected to anything via Bluetooth.
Google’s likely assumption was that if your smartwatch isn’t connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, that would mean it’s not in use. Google figured that automatically shutting off Wi-Fi would save some power and thus be beneficial to the user.
However, the developer community did not like this change and made their feedback on the issue very clear to Google. In response, this new developer preview rolls back that change, so Wi-Fi will not automatically shut off if the wearable is not connected to something via Bluetooth.
Other than that rollback, there are some new additions to Wear OS in this preview. The support for Actions is added (which is not an Android P feature and already available to Wear OS users), an enhanced battery saver mode, and support for Chinese Smart Reply features.
All in all, it appears the most significant change of this version is the rollback of the auto-shut-off feature, with a few tweaks of already-existing elements thrown in.