Google first introduced Android Wear 2.0, a revamp of its own wearables platform based on its mobile operating system, Android, in May last year during the I/O 2016 conference.
Android Wear version 2.0 brings several features to the wearables platform. These include the ability to quickly reply to messages using the smart reply feature, add widgets and the biggest of them all, apps will finally be able to gain access to any connected wireless network (Wi-Fi) thereby eliminating any dependence on cellular connections (3G, LTE) as has been the case so far thus making the watches truly standalone.
Good as that may sound, there hasn’t been much in the public domain on Android Wear 2.0 8 months down the line.
While we expected Google to start pushing Android Wear 2.0 late last year, around the same time it was releasing Android Nougat, that was not to be. Most recently, we’ve been led to believe that an early 2017 release, most probably next month (February) is in the offing thanks to Google’s occasional reminders to developers to update their apps in time for the release.
Now, thanks to Evan Blass who very early on corroborated the early 2017 release plans, we have a specific date.
February 9th it is!
Mark your calendar: Android Wear 2.0 launches on February 9th.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 17, 2017
The public release of Android Wear 2.0 almost means that chances of seeing new hardware to showcase it at the same time are very high. While Google has been rumoured to be working on its own smartwatches, just like it has released its own smartphones, it is not clear yet if we’ll be seeing any “Pixel” watches come next month. The company has reportedly denied any plans to release Pixel-style watches revealing that instead it would be sticking with its preferred mode of business: partnering with any one of the 12 watchmakers currently on the Android Wear bandwagon.
It is not just Google and any one of its partners that are set to excite us with new smartwatches, there could be more coming from other watch makers since many had held out on releasing new devices while waiting for Android Wear 2.0 to be finalized. Even then, the truth of the matter is that the smartwatch market is not as glossy as it once seemed with sales almost falling flat last year.