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Android Wear 2.0 Launch Postponed To 2017: What Caused Google's Delay?

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Many have been anticipating the release of Android Wear 2.0 ever since it was announced during Google’s I/O conference back in May.

The upcoming operating system update for wearables packs in a ton of new features such as Play Store for Android Wear, apps that can run independently on the watch as opposed to being tethered to a smartphone, an onscreen keyboard and new fitness apps.

However, users will have to wait a bit longer since Google will not be rolling out 2.0 this year. The release has been pushed back to 2017.

Note that only the developer preview version of Android Wear 2.0 is out at the moment. Google is extending the developer preview until early 2017, which is also the timeframe that the tech giant has set for the first smartwatches to receive the Android Wear 2.0 update.

"We’ve gotten tons of great feedback from the developer community about Android Wear 2.0––thank you! We’ve decided to continue the preview program into early 2017, at which point the first watches will receive Android Wear 2.0," says Google in a blog post.

Why Is The Release Delayed?

The OS version is not yet ready for prime time. Google wants to iron out bugs and encourages its developer community to keep spotting more.

Bear in mind that Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview is only available on a couple of devices. One is the Huawei Watch and the other is the LTE-equipped LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition. Both are running on the same processor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1,200 MHz.

LG, Huawei and Motorola made it clear that they will be releasing Android Wear devices for the remainder of 2016.

The Wearable Market

According to data gathered by the IDC, the demand for wearables has increased by more than 67 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the previous year. Total shipment volumes reached 19.7 million units for Q1 2016, which is quite the jump from Q1 2015’s 11.8 million units.

"The good news is that the wearables market continues to mature and expand," says Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. "The wearables that we see today are several steps ahead of what we saw when this market began, increasingly taking their cues from form, function, and fashion.”

The IDC data also shows that Fitbit dominates the wearable market and claims more than a quarter of it. It is followed by Xiaomi, Apple, Garmin, Samsung and BBK.

Photo: Uncalno Tekno | Flickr 

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