One of Google’s most important decisions for Android was to separate key feature updates from new firmware — you don’t have to suffer through months of delays from your manufacturer and carrier just to get a new messaging app or a vital behind-the-scenes service. And now, that’s true for Android Wear as well. Google’s Hoi Lam has confirmed that Android Wear 2.0 can receive some updates through the Play Store, rather than waiting for monolithic firmware upgrades. An update this past week is proof positive: 2.0-equipped watches got support for third-party chat apps in contacts and fewer accidental launches for the watch face picker.
It’s good news if you’ve had a rough experience with Android Wear updates in the past and would rather not wonder if you’ll get features in a reasonable timeframe. It might also ease your mind if you were worried that Google’s decision to pull Android Wear devices from its store might be representative of a retreat from Android Wear as a whole. It’s not clear how often Google expects to patch its wearable platform, but it’s safe to say that improvements will arrive at a faster pace than they have in the past.