Originally, Android Wear 2.0 was slated for release sometime in early 2017, but based on a notice sent out to developers, a launch window has been set. The note was sent out to those with apps that are still using the legacy APK installation mechanism. Developers were warned that apps that have not been updated with the support won’t show up on the Wear Play Store when the update goes live.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day — because you know you were thinking of getting your special someone a brand new Android Wear device, right? — Google has pushed the release date of Android Wear 2.0 to early February 2017. That’s next month!
Specifically, Google is trying to ensure that developers update their apps to allow them to run in standalone mode, meaning without a dependency on a connected smartphone for connecting to WiFi networks and installing apps. This standalone aspect is a hallmark feature of Android Wear 2.0, which was first announced back at the company’s I/O developer conference in May 2016.
Back in September 2016, Google delayed the release of its next version of Android Wear until 2017 to hammer out issues that arose during developer preview builds. The company is also working on two unannounced smartwatches of its own with an unnamed manufacturer it has collaborated with in the past.
There is no actual reason mentioned for why Google pushed up Android Wear 2.0’s launch window, though it’s likely because the momentum on smartwatches has reached a lull. Waiting until later on in the year would have been too late for Google to attempt to reignite a fire under its slowly sizzling wearable branch. This is a better time, especially considering the smartwatch announcements showcased at CES.
Contrary to earlier reports, Google confirmed that the new watches will not have Google or Pixel branding, but will be considered flagship devices and the first hardware to launch after the release of Android Wear 2.0. With a software release sometime next month, we can expect Google to follow up with its watch announcements not too much later.