Two years after Android Wear burst onto the scene, Google has released a new standard for watchbands known as “Mode.” That’s just a fancy and more succinct way of saying Google wants to make switching watchbands a much easier process.
The new system isn’t that far off from traditional bands, using pins that hook into a watch’s lugs. As you can see in the pictures, however, there’s an easy release latch, which means no special tools are required to change the bands out once the pin is in place. Because Mode closely matches traditional systems, they should be compatible with older watches, too, so long as you choose the right size—16mm, 18mm, 20mm, and 22mm.
At launch, Hadley-Roma will launch two Mode bands, one that’s silicon and another that’s leather; these bands will cost $49.99 and $59.99, respectively. According to The Verge, any accessory maker can create Mode-compatible bands so long as they “pass reliability testing” and follow brand guidelines.
Compatible Android Wear watches include the LG Watch Urbane, Huawei Watch, and Moto 360 (generation two), among others. Mode watch bands are currently available through the Google Store, Best Buy and Amazon.