Google has today unwrapped the latest update for Android Wear, finally announcing the Android Watch face API they promised all the way back in July. But that’s not all, there’s also a few new bits of functionality being added to the Android Wear app itself, which will improve things as well.
The big news from this update though is the watch faces. Google has added a new section to Google Play to showcase the new ‘official’ watch faces, which feature anything from Pacman, to the unpredictable Minions in Despicable Me to the X-Ray artistry of Hugh Turvey. Like all Android apps, some of the new watch faces are free, though some you will have to spend a little money on.
The update to Android Wear is actually bringing Android Wear to Android 5.0 – which implements API 21. This rollout will be pushed to all Android Wear owners via an OTA update over the next week.
There’s also bad news for your current favourite Android Wear watch faces if they don’t update to the latest API, with Google advising on their developer blog :
Once the rollout is complete, please transition your existing watch faces to the new API by January 31, 2015, at which point we plan to remove support for watch faces that don’t use the official API
Google has also advised that new apps can be submitted to Google Play as designated Android Wear apps from today, by following the Distributing to Android Wear guidelines. These apps must adhere to the Wear App Quality criteria, that Google has previously laid out.
The Android Wear app is also getting an update, with the new functionality outlined :
This is a big update, so check out all the latest updates on Google Play.