Android Wear 2.0 is the next major update for smartwatches running Google's wearables platform, and the major update seemed planned by year's end. Unfortunately, Google has announced that Android Wear 2.0 will be delayed until early 2017.
The reason Google has delayed the update pertains to "quality requirements," meaning that "the delay for the launch of Android Wear 2.0 is so that the company can hit the quality requirements it has for the platform when it is publicly launched and not because of specific hardware delays," The Verge says. What this means, for those who still think the citations in this paragraph are rather broad and generic is that Google has its own plans for where the platform should go with each major update -- and the search engine giant hasn't hit its plans for AW 2.0 just yet.
Well, it's a good thing that Google is taking time to make Android Wear 2.0 even better before its release, but it appears as though, had Google released Android Wear 2.0, few of Google's AW OEMs would've actually released new smartwatches this Fall. Last week, we were given the news that LG, Motorola, and Huawei have all decided to call "timeout" on Android Wear-powered smartwatches for 2016, so it appears as though the new Android Wear 2.0 update would've arrived without fanfare had 2016 been the release year instead of 2017. Even then, there may be little to no fanfare depending on when Google releases the update. It would be nice to see the update land with a new smartwatch or two (or few), but that's just speculation for now.
Android Wear will bring new features to Google-powered smartwatches such as smart reply, watchface customizations, and standalone apps. Alongside of these, the new rumor surrounding Google is that Mountain View is planning to add the Google Play Store on its smartwatches so that you can now download apps directly on the watch without needing your phone to do so.
All of this suggests that Google is working hard on Android Wear, but there has to be some other reason behind the delay. Companies often release new devices and bring major updates later, so it appears as though something else is behind the delay (perhaps the refusal of Android Wear OEMs to make new AW smartwatches). We don't know all the details, but it's safe to say that Android Wear is stalling for now. Regardless, consumers have yet another reason to refrain from buying Android Wear smartwatches, with the delay being seen as indicative of a greater problem than Google is letting on.