Although Google may have dropped Android Wear devices from the Google Store, they are still making an effort to provide some support for the platform. The latest continues on the path of making things more modular as opposed to having everything tied in to the operating system, a strategy that Google has been pursuing with the main Android operating system structure. By separating pieces and components from the operating system itself, Google is able to push out updates more quickly and through channels like the Play Store.
Earlier this week Google showed how this can work by pushing out some new changes and features for Android Wear 2.0 via the Play Store. According to Hoi Lam with Google, this system is part of their “aim [is] to publish more timely improvements between OTAs.” The improvements were delivered when users update the Android Wear app.
The improvements included the following:
- 3rd party chat app support in Contacts
- Reduce accidental entry into the watch face picker
- Improve Play Store discoverability for new users
- Other features and bug fixes
While we watch to see how the market continues to change for Android Wear devices, especially now that Google is not making them available via their own online store, we will also watch to see how this affects firmware upgrades. With components being separated out, there may be less pressure on Google to prepare operating system and firmware upgrades for Android Wear.