Android Wear 2.0 will finally make it onto the wrists of ordinary folk in February, a leaked email from Google has confirmed.
Android Wear 2.0 was originally tipped to arrive in late-2017, but Google said in September that it had “decided to continue the preview programme into early 2017”.
A leaked email sent to Android developers and obtained by Android Police reveals that Android Wear 2.0 is still on track for this ‘early 2017 release’ and will be launching next month.
The email also warns developers that if their app is using the legacy APK installation mechanism, it won’t be optimised for Wear 2.0 and users won’t be able to search for it in the on-watch Play Store.
This a nod to the fact that Android Wear 2.0 is the first release to incorporate the Google Play store, which means users will be able to browse, search and download apps, including paid titles and beta tests, directly to a smartwatch instead of queuing them up on a phone.
This also means that iPhone users will be able to install Android apps directly on the smartwatches without requiring an Android phone.
Android Wear 2.0 also brings with it a teeny-tiny fiddly onscreen keyboard, Smart Reply support, a full Material Design overhaul to Google’s smartwatch platform and improved fitness-tracking sensors.
The impending launch of Android Wear 2.0 also suggests that we’ll soon be seeing the first Google-branded smartwatches, with rumours pointing to a launch alongside the software overhaul.
Reports claim that Google will launch two smartwatches, both of which will focus on the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) assistant.
The bigger model, codenamed Angelfish, will be the talking point as it shuns the need for a connected smartphone with built-in LTE and GPS connectivity. The smaller model, nicknamed Swordfish, will be substantially skinnier than the flagship model and more suited to pairing with an Android or iOS smartphone.