Android Wear might been seen as a dead platform, but it looks like Google is still delivering some updates to its wearables platform. A new post from the company says Android Wear 2.0 is getting some updates and features, though there’s no word on when the next version of the platform will launch.
In a Google Plus post, which was shared by moderator Hoi Lam on the Android Wear Developers community page, there is a list of updates for the wearables platform. According to the post, the new features can now be delivered via the Play Store itself. This happens when the user updates the Android Wear app on the smartwatch.
The post adds, “the aim is to publish more timely improvements between OTAs.” The new upgrade also adds the option of third-party chat app support in Contacts, reduce accidental entry into the watch face picker. The chat app support means users will be able to use WhatsApp, etc to text their contacts. It also improves Play Store discoverability for new apps along with other bug fixes and improvements. The post also says there will more improvements and features in the “coming months,” which is interesting.
Google Android Wear was supposed to be the challenger to Apple Watch and its watchOS, but the platform hasn’t really taken off, like Android on mobiles. The wearable market in particular has not seen the kind of growth that was expected by analysts in the early days, and there are various reasons for this.
One is that most smartwatches are still dependent on the phone itself, thus not a must-buy for the user, especially if one considers the pricing. Also smartwatches continue to suffer from poor battery life, which is another added headache for the customer. Plus there is no solid reason for a user to upgrade their smartwatch every year, like with a smartphone.
Coming to Android Wear 3.0, the new wearable OS has not yet arrived though it could be announced in February like Google did last year. But still the hardware announcements were limited to LG, Huawei and Asus for 2017. Players like Motorola, which had designed the Moto 360 didn’t have anything to showcase this year. More importantly numbers put Apple Watch on top when it comes to volume, even though it has seen a dip in shipments.