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Google begins rollout of 8.0 Oreo for Android Wear, LG Watch Sport up first

Google has begun rolling out an update to Android Wear based on Android Oreo from today - here's a rundown of all the new features.

Published onDecember 7, 2017

  • Google has begun rolling out an update to Android Wear based on Android Oreo
  • LG Watch Sport users appear to be among the first to receive the latest upgrade
  • The update offers small tweaks to the wearable OS including Touch Lock, vibration controls, additional languages, a manual Battery Saver toggle

It’s only been a couple of weeks since Google finally remembered Android Wear is a thing and rolled out a number of long-overdue quality of life features in version 2.6. Now, the smartwatch OS is receiving yet another upgrade based on Android Oreo.

While that initially sounds quite exciting, it’s worth heavily tempering your expectations as this isn’t an Android Wear 2.0-style upgrade with redesigned features and/or a new look. Instead, compatible wearables will enjoy a handful of minor, but generally welcome, tweaks.

A moderator on the Android Wear Developers Google+ community confirmed that the rollout begins today, although the timing will depend on each device’s manufacturer. The folks over at Android Police have received word from a reader that the update is now live on the LG Watch Sport.

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Judging by the reader’s information, the latest firmware sticks to Android Wear build number 2.6.0, while also showing as Android 8.0 Oreo.

As for the tweaks, the headline feature is arguably the addition of a Touch Lock that disables tap-to-wake functionality. Google says this should help in “wet conditions”, although considering how vulnerable wearables are to unwarranted touchscreen taps it could be useful whatever the weather.

You can also now alter the vibration strength when receiving a notification. The folks at 9to5Google tested this feature while Oreo for Android Wear was in beta and found that the vibrate can now be set to either Normal, Long, or Double.

As well as the addition of notification channels, Oreo also brings a handful of updates that focus on battery life improvements, such as the option to manually enable Battery Saver mode and the inclusion of background limits.

Furthermore, Oreo adds support for seven additional countries/languages. These are Belgium (Dutch), Czech Republic (Czech), El Salvador (Spanish), Honduras (Spanish), Nigeria (English), Paraguay (Spanish), and Portugal (Portuguese).

What do you think of Android Wear’s Oreo upgrade? Is it enough to fix the platform’s numerous woes (I somehow doubt it)? Let us know in the comments.

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