The Android Wear 2.0 Preview milestone 2 build has been released today for the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition. You can get the builds for your flashing pleasure here. What's new? I'll let the official Android Developers Blog take it away from here.

  • Platform API 24 - We have incremented the Android Platform API version number to 24 to match Nougat. You can now update your Android Wear 2.0 Preview project’s compileSdkVersion to API 24, and we recommend that you also update targetSdkVersion to API 24.
  • Wearable Drawers Enhancements - We launched the wearable drawers as part of the Android Wear 2.0 Preview 1, along with UX guidelines on how to best integrate the navigation drawer and action drawer in your Android Wear app. In Preview 2, we have added additional support for wearable drawer peeking, to make it easier for users to access these drawers as they scroll. Other UI improvements include automatic peek view and navigation drawer closure and showing the first action in WearableActionDrawer’s peek view. For developers that want to make custom wearable drawers, we’ve added peek_view and drawer_content attributes to WearableDrawerView. And finally, navigation drawer contents can now be updated by calling notifyDataSetChanged.
  • Wrist Gestures: Since last year, users have been able to scroll through the notification stream via wrist gestures. We have now opened this system to developers to use within their applications. This helps improve single hand usage, for when your users need their other hand to hold onto their shopping or their kids. See the code sample below to get started with gestures in your app:

The new developer info on the wrist gestures API can be found here. For those of us who aren't developers, there are also a whole bunch of small to larger changes in the actual user experience. There are new watch face complications, a revised UI for adding them (live backgrounds like photos and the new music album art option are now their own complication, interestingly), and more. The settings UI has been completely redone to look more like the rotary app dial, and the individual settings menus have a new look, too.

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We're just getting started with this new preview build, so let us know if you notice anything else new! My first impressions? This is much smoother and quicker than the last preview, and probably the quickest I've ever seen Wear run. But it's possible it'll slow down over time, because Android. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

To get the update, you will need to manually flash the image - it will not be distributed via OTA. And before you flash, I highly suggest taking a look at the "known issues," because there are tons, and many are quite serious. A selection of my favorites:

  • The "Ok Google" detection and voice transcription may not work reliably. Additionally, Search does not retrieve results.
  • Turning screen lock to off (Enable and disable) functionality is not reliable.
  • Dismissing multiple notifications can cause app to forcibly close.
  • Double pressing the power hardware button while on the launcher causes the watch screen to turn black
  • Unable to turn off the Wi-Fi on a wearable
  • This preview release does not include support for notification groups.

In other words: stuff is broken, and this is not intended for daily driving. Flash at your own caution.