Google pushed back the launch of Android Wear 2.0 into “early 2017”, as the platform is set to gain Play Store support.
The company decided to extend a developer preview program, this week launching a third Android Wear 2.0 pre-release. It previously described the next generation of its wearables OS as the “biggest yet” in its young life.
Android Wear is in something of a stasis at the moment, with no recent high profile launches (other than from Asus at IFA 2016) and not much on the horizon. According to CNET, Huawei, LG and Motorola are not planning launches this year, no doubt impacted by the lack of a significant platform update.
And customer demand has also been muted.
The addition of Play Store support for Android Wear means that apps no longer need to be installed via a paired smartphone, with search direct from smartwatches via voice, keyboard, handwriting and recommended queries.
Google had previously said it would support standalone apps for Android Wear, as it looks to boost the capabilities of the platform beyond those available as a smartphone peripheral.