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Android Wear 5.0 Update Hands-On: More Powerful Than Ever

by Brandon Russell | December 16, 2014December 16, 2014 5:00 pm EST

Last week, Google began rolling out a major update to Android Wear, with particular emphasis on watch faces. We finally got the update on our Moto 360, making an already terrific wearable even better. Among several neat enhancements, the addition of several new watch faces—and the Watch Face API—is allowing developers to create more powerful smartwatch experiences. Admit it: you always wanted Minions as your smartwatch background.

In addition to the handful of new watch faces, the update brings some great new functionality to the table, too. Users can recall cards, for example, and there’s now quick access to Priority Mode, which is a new addition to Android 5.0 Lollipop. There are also Sunlight and Theater modes, which tailors the screen depending on the available light, along with a slightly more Material Design look.

Of course, the bigger focus from Google was on the watch faces, which have been created by some of today’s top designers, brands and artists. They can be downloaded directly from Google Play; there are options for surfers, fashionistas and more, and with API access, watch faces aren’t just prettier, but they provide more information.

To see the new update in action, check out the video above. Android Wear has slowly but surely evolved into a great wearable platform, and with updates like this, it’s only getting better.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.