We’ve already seen tons of great watch faces for Android Wear smart watches pop up in the Google Play Store, but Google says developers should hold their horses before going a bit too crazy. Wayne Piekarski revealed that the company is working to bring an official API that will make it easier for developers to create custom watch faces.
As it stands, he says apps have to be tweaked a great deal to make sure the watch faces act as behaved. That includes implementing ambient mode correctly, appropriately positioning status indicators and more. As such, when the latest API arrives there is a fear that current implementations might be broken or might not work as intended.
Google isn’t asking developers to stop making watch faces. Instead, they’re encouraging developers to keep their apps in “alpha” or “beta” status until the API is released and they can be be properly implemented. Otherwise developers might find themselves in a sea of complaints should users accept the platform update and find their favorite smart watches to be broken without apparent cause.
So when can we expect all this to happen? Piekarski said they’re planning to introduce the API once they migrate the Android Wear platform to Android L later this year, so we might still be a few months out from see anything. Develop on, we say, but make sure you keep an eye out for those new APIs as soon as they’re available.
I’m rather surprised that this API isn’t already in existence. I figured watch functionality would be a primary driver of the smart watch market, and easily swappable faces seems like a no brainer.
Oh my God, Big Ben on the wrist. Just like the old Casio Calculator watches.
Can I have a watch face with my face on it? Or one that says “Watch Face” with a camera feed of my face so I can watch my face? Or watch myself feed my face? With my watch? Wow, I’m confused.