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Android Wear gets interactive watch faces

by Brandon Russell | August 20, 2015August 20, 2015 11:00 am PDT


Remember that Android Wear leak from a few days ago that revealed interactive watch faces were on the way? Well, Google on Thursday officially confirmed the update, detailing how the newest feature will work. Android Wear has grown at a steady pace over the past several months, but today’s update might just be the biggest.

An interactive watch face allows developers to provide users with information quickly, without having to open an app. In the example shown above for the Pujie Black watch face, merely touching the calendar icon will change the face to show a user their agenda for the day. That means you don’t have to jump into the app just to see what you have coming up; think of it as a complication combined with a glance, something Apple Watch users are already familiar with.

The update makes for a more convenient and engaging experience, and allows users to do more right from their watch face. Less swiping through screens and more getting work done. Google has released the interactive watch face API, allowing developers to get all sorts of creative with new interactions.

Google is also adding device-to-device communication, taking a page out of Apple’s book. Going forward, you’ll be able to pair your watch to another person’s, and then send them personalized messages, emoji, stickers, doodles and photos throughout the day. It’s a neat and welcome addition, and should make engagement through your Android Wear device more fun.

In addition to today’s update, Google also said the LG G Watch R is getting Wi-Fi, which has already arrived on many Android Wear devices. The update allows an Android Wear watch to communicate with a phone without the need of a Bluetooth connection, allowing users to leave their phone at home but still stay in touch.

Interactive watch faces are coming to all Android Wear watches over the coming weeks, Google said. These things usually roll out in waves, which means you’re pretty much at the mercy of Google to receive the update in a timely manner.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...