Google on Wednesday unveiled a major Android Wear update, in particular focusing on watch faces. The search giant is giving developers access to an official Watch Face API, which means your favorite Android Wear device can be adorned with Minions, Pac Man and even Plants vs. Zombies. But it’s not just about getting prettier; the update is also making Google’s wearable platform more useful as well.
The new watch faces, made by many of today’s top designers, brands and artists, can be downloaded directly from Google Play, just as you would an app. Many of the faces say they’re compatible with Android 4.4 and up, though it sounds like your Android Wear device will need to receive the Lollipop update in order for them to work. Going through the Android Wear Watch Faces landing page, I already have my eye on the Planets Watchface by Zuhanden. The Odyssey Premium also looks awesome.
They’re more than just pretty faces, however. The Watch Face API allows developers can integrate information like weather, calendar data, altitude and more. For a watch face like Specialized Bikes, you’ll not only get a slick-looking design, but you’ll get sunrise and sunset information and your current speed—all great information for cyclists. There are options for everyone: surfers, fashionistas, and more. Something like Ustwo integrates calendar and weather, and it just looks incredible.
This Android Wear update isn’t just about fancy new watch faces. Like we saw in the leak, users will be able to recall cards, toggle Sunlight and Theater modes, and take advantage of new gestures. Swiping down from the top now brings up quick settings, and you can also adjust Priority Mode (when paired with a phone running Lollipop).
Google says watch faces can be download from Google Play starting today, with a new Android Wear app update set to roll out over the coming days. Watch faces give your device personality, and in that respect today’s update is pretty major.