Earlier this month Google debuted Android 5.0.1 Lollipop for an array of Android devices as a quick software bug fixing update to the initial Android 5.0 Lollipop release, and last week they confirmed all Android Wear smartwatches would receive it next.
As expected, last week Android 5.0.1 Lollipop started arriving for Android Wear, but we’re still hearing most owners of many popular watches like the Moto 360 have yet to receive the new treat full of watch faces and new features.
This weekend Motorola took a few moments to confirm for all Moto 360 owners that the update to Android Wear and the Moto 360 to Android 5.0 Lollipop was coming soon, and in fact, confirmed the update should hit all Moto 360 owners starting today, December 15th.
Since last week Android Wear owners have been tapping the check for updates button anxiously awaiting the Android 5.0 update to hit their watches, but sadly it never arrived for many. This is good news however, as Motorola’s essentially confirmed that today most should get it, if not all, and it will continue to roll out to Moto 360 and other Android Wear watches all week long.
According to Motorola 10-50% of Moto 360 owners should have received the update to Android 5.0.1 for Android Wear this weekend, and all users should see it arrive by today. Stating that it will be 100% complete on the 15th. We’ve yet to get it on our own Moto 360, but it should be here by the end of the day.
So what’s new with Android 5.0.1 on Android Wear and the Moto 360? Lots of things. This is just the changelog from Motorola, so the release and new features may be slightly different for other watches, but here’s the details according to Motorola.
Android Wear Enhancements
- Android L: Updates Android Wear to the latest platform for consistency across Android devices for both consumers and developers. (Android 5.0.1 Lollipop)
- Watch Faces: Choose from a variety of public watch faces available through the Google Play Store. Watch faces can be selected and configured through the Android Wear app on your phone or directly on your Moto 360. Developers can leverage application programming interfaces (APIs) to create a watch face and retrieve calendar and notification data.
- Undo Cards: When a card is swiped away it will remain available to undo for a short time after dismissal.
- Quick Settings: Swiping down from the top brings new settings that include Theatre mode, Sunlight mode (temporarily maximize brightness), managing interruptions, and easier access to deeper Settings. Interruptions choices made on your Moto 360 automatically change the Interruptions setting on your Lollipop-based phone.
- Theater Mode: Screen remains off unless turned on by a press of the side button.
- Battery & Storage Stats: The Android Wear application will now allow you to obtain more information about Moto 360 battery performance including a projection of time left and a breakdown of usage by applications. You can also see how much storage space remains – which is helpful when planning offline music.
As you can see from the outline above Google and Motorola have introduced a few new features that should bring a lot to Android Wear and the Moto 360. Being able to undo card dismisses is huge, theater mode is nice, and official support for 3rd party watch faces is a welcomed addition.
Not only are more 3rd party watch faces available, but a new API has been released that will make it easier for developers to create wonderful watch faces and apps for Android Wear in the near future. This is the first major update to Android Wear, a platform that is still in its infancy, and we can expect more new features and changes to arrive soon.
Again, the Moto 360 Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update should be rolling out to all smartwatch owners by the end of the day, and most likely other Android Wear watch owners can expect a similar update to hit your device as well. We’re hearing battery life problems arrived with Android 5.0.1, so drop a comment below if you’re experiencing some issues after getting Android 5.0.1 on your watch.
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