Google wants to remind the world that its Android Wear software, and the watches on which it’s installed, are just as personal and customizable as the Apple Watch — perhaps even more so. Google’s now directing Android Wear owners to an updated and expanded version of its watch face corner of Google Play. It boasts there are now more than 1,000 different faces available for download, both for free and with a price tag attached.
Changing the watch face is only a small part of making a smartwatch your own, and Google is keen to point out many of the Android Wear watches use a standard 22mm watch strap, so it’s easy to change the basic one for another with more flair. Google’s only to happy to make a big deal over this, because the Apple Watch has a proprietary strap, and is currently limited to only those options provided by Apple.
Google’s gone a step beyond just saying the watch band can be changed: It has teamed up with three companies which sell straps explicitly designed for selected Android Wear smart watches. Worn and Wound sell tapered, leather straps for the LG G Watch R, the G Watch, and the Asus ZenWatch, all priced at $65. Clockwork Synergy also has a range of leather straps at a far more reasonable $25, or $12 to $15 if you’re quick, because they’re on sale. The compatible watch range is expanded to include the Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear Live, but the straps should also fit other models.
Finally, E3 Motorcycles is selling hand crafted leather NATO bands for the LG G Watch, G Watch R, Moto 360, Asus ZenWatch, and the Samsung Gear Live. Different color leather is available, and you can choose the finish for the buckle too, all for $64 up, depending on your choices.
Apple puts the Apple Watch up for preorder on April 10, with a wide selection of straps to help personalize the device available at the same time. It’s also promoting the watch’s ability to bring wearers together, with features such as sending a virtual heartbeat to loved ones. Prices start at $350, and you can read more about ordering one here.