Android Wear 2.0, the next iteration of Google’s smartwatch operating system, will be released to the public in February. The calendar date is not yet set in stone, but Google is now notifying developers of an impending release just a few weeks away to help those with unsupported Android Wear code be prepared to update their apps or else find the software unavailable in the Play Store.
Specifically, Google is trying to ensure that developers update their apps to allow them to run in standalone mode, meaning without a dependency on a connected smartphone for connecting to Wi-Fi networks and installing apps. This standalone aspect is a hallmark feature of Android Wear 2.0, which was first announced back at the company’s I/O developer conference in May 2016.
Back in September, Google delayed the release of its next version of Android Wear until 2017 to hammer out issues that arose during developer preview builds. The company is also working on two unannounced smartwatches of its own with an unnamed manufacturer it has collaborated with in the past.
Contrary to earlier reports, Google confirmed to The Verge in December that the new watches will not have Google or Pixel branding, but will be considered flagship devices and the first hardware to launch after the release of Android Wear 2.0. With a software release sometime next month, we can expect Google to follow up with its watch announcements not too much later.