You may not be able to change your smartwatch’s wristband, but at least you can now choose your own watch face. Google introduced the long-awaited update to Android Wear, which allows users to download third-party watch faces from developers. The update also includes several performance enhancements.
Previously, watch faces for Android Wear devices were oddly limited, even though users clearly wanted more options. Luckily, Google finally opened up the watch face API to third-party developers, so there will be a lot more watch faces available on the Google Play Store. To start with, Google announced several brand-name watch faces, including ones from Hugh Turvey, Porsche, Pac Man, Red Bull, Despicable Me, Rebecca Minkoff, and others. Most of the watch faces are free, but some of them cost $1. You can see the entire collection on a dedicated page in the Google Play Store.
The update also includes the following performance-related improvements:
- Bring cards back quickly when you miss them
- Recent actions pop up when you tap the watch face
- Quick access to settings when you swipe down from the top of the screen
- Theater Mode keeps the screen and vibrations off
- Sunlight Mode boosts the screen to maximum brightness
- Block notifications from any app on your watch
- View battery and storage usage in Android Wear app
Both updates should roll out to all Android Wear devices as an app update on your smartphone via the Google Play Store.