Phones, speakers, cameras, laptops, Google made a number of new announcements earlier this week, but there was a conspicuous lack of anything relating to Android Wear. Yesterday, smartwatch fans panicked when the option to buy Android Wear devices was removed from the Google store.
While LG’s Style and Sport smartwatches still appear in the store, both are now listed as no longer available. The change started speculation that this could signal the beginning of the end for the platform, but it turns out that Android Wear isn’t going away.
Responding to a question on Twitter, Google employee Hoi Lam explained that the company decided it will only stock products either branded by Google or part of the “Made for Google” program on its online store.
Lam went on to say that Google's store team had known about the plan for nearly a year. The company has been focusing on custom Android Wear storefronts with online retailers such as Amazon, while continuing to push the platform with its offline partner stores.
“Our team knew the plant for a year now and invested in custom store fronts with online retailers e.g. Amazon. Together with all our partners (online/offline), we will reach more people all over the world than ever before,” wrote Lam.
“When I visited partner stores in London and Shanghai, they couldn’t be more excited about our line-up this fall. On the technical front, I have more to share about how we think about updates – stay tuned!”
So, while the launch of Android Wear 2.0 doesn’t seem to have done much to boost the popularity of smartwatches, it seems reports of its death were greatly exaggerated.