Delayed from fall of last year to a vague early 2017, Android Wear 2.0 might finally have a launch date. According to emails currently being sent out to developers, the next version of Google’s wearable OS will be released in early February.
First announced at I/O 2016, Wear 2.0 focuses on customization, messaging, and fitness, with a major goal of becoming a standalone device independent from the smartphone. An important part of achieving that is an on-device Play Store that will allow users to just download watch-specific apps.
Back in December, some third-party apps taking advantage of Wear 2.0’s new features were showcased, but Google likely needs more to ensure a succesful launch in the face of a shrinking smartwatch market. Despite those recent developments, the company appears to remain committed to the form factor, with support for in-app billing to encourage developer adoption.
The email currently being sent out to developers with existing Wear apps specify that “Android Wear 2.0 is launching in early February 2017” and wants them to optimize their apps to support the new OS and Play Store.
With Google confirming that a number of existing watches will be updated to the latest version of the OS, the early February date could possibly also coincide with the launch of two long rumored Nexus-like smartwatches.