Google delays major Android Wear 2.0 update to 2017


Android Wear fans waiting for version 2.0 will have to wait a bit longer. The news of Android Wear 2.0’s delay was buried in today’s Google’s announcement of its third developer preview, which stated that the company is extending its Android Wear 2.0 beta program into early 2017.

Google initially planned to release Android Wear 2.0 by Q4 2016. The update will bring huge changes to the company’s watch operating system, including new watch faces with widgets and an updated Material Design language. It’s unclear why Google decided to delay the Android Wear 2.0 launch. We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

Although it’s disappointing that we won’t see Android Wear 2.0 this year, Google has released its third developer preview of the operating system, which brings some exciting new features. The biggest addition to the latest developer preview is the Google Play Store. Users will now be able to browse, search and install apps right from their wrist.

Android Wear Google Play Store animation

“We ran studies with users to find out where they expected and wanted to discover apps––and they repeatedly looked for and asked for a way to discover apps right on the watch itself,” wrote Google Developer Advocate Hoi Lam in a blog post.

Moving the app store on the wrist makes a lot of sense, especially if Google plans on making Android Wear smartwatches stand-alone devices. More Android Wear smartwatches are getting support for LTE connectivity, meaning you can receive notifications, calls and directions without relying on a connection with your phone.

Another cool feature found in the third developer preview for Android Wear 2.0 are smart replies. You’ll now be able to use canned responses to quickly respond to messages, similar to how Google Allo works.

Google Android Wear watches
Photo credit: Android Police

Google is also rumored to be coming out with its own Android Wear smartwatches, code named Angelfish and Swordfish. The larger Angelfish watch is rumored to include both LTE and GPS and could be branded under the company’s Pixel line of devices.

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