Google has a smartwatch platform called Android Wear that’s already available to customers, and an SDK for developers – but it doesn’t yet officially support custom watchfaces. That hasn’t stopped people from building their own, however, and currently that process requires a fair bit of heavy lifting on the part of devs. Google Developer Advocate Wayne Piekarski took to Google+ (via 9to5Google) to announce that the company would make it easier with an official watchface API, to be added to the Wear SDK soon.
Android Wear is among my favorite things about Google’s wearable platform thus far, with some extremely interesting watchfaces having already been created, including a Star Trek LCARS-inspired theme, and one that replicates the clever text-based watch design.
To truly make watchfaces that work well across form factors (both square, round and multiple device sizes), conserve battery properly and display card-style notifications correctly, Piekarski says that they’ll have to wait for Android Wear to migrate to Android L when it becomes available to the general public later this year, so expect any watchface API to remain on hold until then.
And hold is what Google wants people to do – the Google+ post by Piekarski includes an entreaty to not release watchface apps in the general Google Play store pool just yet, and to stick to alpha and beta channels until official support arrives. Based on my experience so far with the custom ones devs have dreamt up, I’m kind of hoping they don’t comply.