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Final Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview arrives with iOS support

If you've been waiting to get your hands on the big Android Wear 2.0 update and don't mind testing out a beta version, now may be a good time to try it out.

Published onJanuary 24, 2017

An Android Wear/WearOS smartwatch.

The time is almost here, folks! The official launch of Android Wear 2.0 is just over two weeks away, which means Google is putting the finishing touches on its smartwatch OS as we speak.

If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on the big 2.0 update and don’t mind testing out a beta version, now may be a good time to try it out. The company has just released its fifth and final developer preview for Android Wear 2.0. Aside from the plethora of “bug fixes and performance improvements” we come to expect from these types of updates, Google has also enabled iOS support in this new version. While you’ve been able to use your Android Wear watches with iPhones since 2015, this functionality hasn’t been available in the Android Wear 2.0 previews until today.

Leaked: our first look at LG's upcoming Android Wear watches

If you’re a developer who’d like to start distributing your apps to iPhone-paired watches, Google says you need to simply set the standalone=true flag in your watch app manifest. This will let the Play Store know that your app doesn’t need an Android phone app, allowing the app to appear in the Play Store on watches paired with iPhones.

In addition, this new dev preview adds support for NFC Host Card Emulation, which will allow devices to make mobile payments via NFC.

Google notes that if you haven’t yet, it’s time to publish your apps. And of course, since this is still a developer preview, be sure to give Google as much feedback as possible if you’re trying out the preview software. Want to check out the final developer preview for yourself? Head here for all the details.

While Google notes that the 2.0 release date is slated for “early February”, recent reports point to a February 9 launch. Alongside Android Wear 2.0, we’re also expected to see two new smartwatches from LG and Google, dubbed the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.

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