Google first announced its Android Wear 2.0 –an operating system designed for wearables and smartwatches in May 2016. At the time, it was released as a developer preview with the expectation of an official release by the end of the year in September, but there were issues. Specifically, aimed at helping developers prepare and create apps for the new OS and feedback from the developer preview was quite negative, then Google decided to reassess and pushed the release to the early 2017.
And finally, Google has notified developers that Android 2.0 Wear is coming to the public in a few weeks, in early February, so they had better get their apps ready. And Google confirmed that Android Wear 2.0 would support Android Play on Android and IOS.
Google is trying to ensure that developers update their apps to allow them to run in standalone mode, means without a dependency on a connected smartphone for connecting to Wi-Fi networks and installing apps.
The update adds significant features to the Android Wear OS, including a built-in Play Store that users can directly download and install apps on the watch, not through a smartphone as is required right now. Another feature is included, that is keyboard, along with the ability for apps to connect to the internet through Wi-Fi, without the need of nearby smartphone.
Google is also working on two unannounced smartwatches of its own with an unnamed manufacturer it has collaborated with in the past. Google also confirmed that the new unannounced watches will not have the Google or Pixel branding, but will be considered flagship devices and first hardware to launch after releasing the Android Wear 2.0. The new pieces of hardware are expected to take a form similar to Google’s Nexus partner devices.