Android Wear 2.0 for existing Android Wear smartwatches is due to start rolling out February 15, according to a new report. While the date is not a confirmed by Google date, it is one which is said to be based on “good authority”, according to Wareable. Unfortunately for users though, it’s not up to Google to push out the update. Each manufacturer does has to sign off on the update for their respective devices, with means that while February 15 is being touted as the day in which the update will commence rolling out, the final date for each device will ultimately be up to each manufacturer.
The Android Wear 2.0 update has been a highly anticipated update and Google is hoping it will be the boost the platform and reignite interest surrounding smartwatches. The update allows users to personalize their always-on watch faces with info such as speed-dial contacts, calendar events and more. As well as this, the OS now comes with Google Fit pre-installed, allowing smartwatches to track distance, pace, calories and even a user’s heart rate whenever there is a heart rate monitor present. Perhaps two of the biggest features is the ability to operate independently, without the need of a companion smartphone and the ability to make payments directly from the smartwatch using Android Pay. Although, another big addition is the separate Play Store that will allow users to download Android Wear-specific apps.
With the inclusion of the Google Assistant to the platform as well, Google is surely anticipating a positive consumer reaction to the Android Wear update, as well as greater support from smartwatch manufacturers. After all, some manufacturers have already confirmed a lack of plans for future smartwatches, due to the lack of consumer interest in the platform. With the eventual release of the update to older devices, Google is likely hoping that a re-surge of interest at the consumer level will spark a re-surge in interest at the manufacture level. If the update does successfully spark consumer interest again, this could be the beginning of a new era of growth for the smartwatch platform, which currently faces tough competition from Apple’s watchOS.