After delays, Android Wear 2.0 is finally set to arrive in early February

With the smartwatch field facing an uphill battle for the attention of the gadget-buying audience, Google’s Android Wear delay couldn’t have come at a less opportune moment.

The wearable operating system was originally scheduled for release by year’s end, only to get pushed back to a broad “early next year,” a move that may well have contributed to the surprising lack of devices on display at CES last week.

The release date just got a decidedly firmer time frame of “early February,” courtesy of an email sent out to Google Play developers, soliciting people to publish their apps for the OS and highlighting the on-watch Play Store functionality that’s set for the release.

The timing of the release may well coincide with a pair of new Google-designed devices rumored to debut with the operating system’s launch. The pieces of hardware, set to showcase the new version of Wear, are expected to take a form similar to Google’s Nexus partner devices. And maybe we’ll start to see the fruits of the operating system begin to develop later that month in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress.