Just a few days ago, Google announced that it is extending the Android Wear 2.0 developers preview till 2017, which naturally means that the launch of the final version will now be delayed. On the Android Developers blog, Google announced the third iteration of the next-gen operating system for the wearables. Google wrote in its developer blog that it received good response from the developers about the Android Wear 2.0, and that it has decided to continue the preview till next year. Also Read - Now you will have to pay a processing fee for mobile recharges on PhonePe
“We’ve gotten tons of great feedback from the developer community about Android Wear 2.0––thank you! We’ve decided to continue the preview program into early 2017, at which point the first watches will receive Android Wear 2.0,” Google wrote. While the launch of the third developer preview confirmed the delay in rollout of the Android Wear 2.0, it also revealed some big changes and improvements that will come with the new operating system. To begin with, the biggest announcement is that Google will be introducing the Play Store into the smartwatch. The Play Store for Android Wear will have apps dedicated just for the smartwatch. Also Read - Google cuts Play Store fee to 15 percent for all subscription apps from 2022
This move will not only simplify app downloads for users, but it will also help developers reach out more users, by now having an app market dedicated to just one category. With Play Store for Android Wear, users will be able to browse recommended apps in the home view and search for apps using voice, keyboard, handwriting, and recommended queries, basically to facilitate users to find apps easily. Users can switch between multiple accounts, and update or uninstall apps in the “My apps” view on their watch, so that managing the app becomes much easier. Also Read - Facebook’s new name could be Meta or Horizon, or will it be called FB?
However, the coolest feature is perhaps this one. If users want an app on their watch but not on their phone, they can install only the watch app. In fact, in Android Wear 2.0, phone apps are no longer necessary. You can now build and publish watch-only apps for users to discover on Google Play. Essentially, unlike Apple Watch, where a user must have the app installed on their iPhones in order to use the ‘Watch version’ of the app on the smartwatch, Google eliminates that necessity.
On the blog, Google says that the wearable exclusive store was added after developers requested to make it easier for users to discover apps. “So 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. Along with improvements to app discovery on the phone and web, the Play Store on the watch helps users find apps right where they need them.”
There other features for developers that Google announced include improvements to complications and support for contextual smart replies, inline action for notification, which Google had even announced previously that would be coming to the Android Wear 2.0. In case you want to get the developer preview for yourself, you’ll need to own either the Huawei Watch or the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE.