If you’re an owner of an Android Wear-based smartwatch and have been eager to get your hands on the final release of Android Wear 2.0, the wait is going to be a little bit longer. Google announced today that its next generation smartwatch operating system has been delayed from fall 2016 to early 2017.
So instead of customers being graced with a final release, Google has pushed out Developer Preview 3. Developer Preview 3 contains all the niceties from the previous two releases, but also brings the Play Store to your smartwatch. You can easily browse recommended apps, or perform a more precise search with your voice, the on-screen keyboard, or with the handwriting recognition.
“Perhaps the coolest feature: If users want an app on their watch but not on their phone, they can install only the watch app,” writes Google Developer Advocate Hoi Lam. “In fact, in Android Wear 2.0, phone apps are no longer necessary.”
Besides the arrival of the Play Store, Google has made some advancements to Complications, Smart Reply, and the ability for developers to take advantage of Inline Actions for Notifications. Android Wear 2.0 also gives apps direct access to a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or cellular internet connection, makes extensive use of Google’s Material Design language, improves Google Fit support, and provides a new customizable Complications API.
It should be noted that Developer Preview 3 won’t be the last developmental build before the final version of Android Wear 2.0 ships in 2017. Google says that Developer Preview 4 will arrive some time during the next few months.