Android Wear SDK update brings API 23 and Marshmallow Support

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Google has released an update to the Android Wear Software Development Kit (SDK) to include support for API 23 and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Developers will now be able to begin adding Marshmallow features and functionality to their apps, while still maintaining the Lollipop builds until all watches are updated.

The new LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE is the first watch to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow (API 23) for Android Wear.

Currently, all other Android Wear watches implement API 22, and in the coming months, these will receive an OTA update for API 23 as well.

API 23 introduces a new runtime permissions model for both phones and watches. The new permissions model allows users to pick and choose which permissions to grant apps at the time of use. In addition, new permissions settings allow users to turn on and off app permissions at any time.

The main changes in this update include:

  • New permissions model and samples: API 23 introduces a new runtime permissions model for both phones and watches. The new permissions model allows users to pick and choose which permissions to grant apps at the time of use. In addition, new permissions settings allow users to turn on and off app permissions at any time.
  • -round and -notround resource qualifiers: API 23 makes it easier to build apps for both round and square Android Wear watches. We listened to your feedback and added new resource qualifiers for -round and -notround, so you can use the resource system to load the appropriate images, layouts, and strings based on the type of watch you are working with.
  • Watches with speakers: The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE is the first watch to include speaker support, so you can now add sounds to your Wear app. You can play audio files using the same APIs that are available on Android phones, such as AudioTrack, MediaPlayer, and ExoPlayer.
  • Intel x86 support: The new TAG Heuer Connected, along with other upcoming Android Wear watches, is based on Intel x86 processors. If you are working only with Java code, your apps will automatically work on any architecture. However, if you’re using the NDK, you’ll need to provide both armeabi-v7a and x86 shared libraries in your wearable APK.

Google has also rolled out an updated emulator, allowing developers to simulate their apps on a computer instead of a watch.

It will also allow developers to test combinations of Lollipop and Marshmallow phones with their apps to make sure it works for all users.

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