Today, Google has announced a massive Android Wear update with features that have been wanted from day one by both developers and users. Let’s break them down one by one.
Android Wear Update – Watch face API:
One of the features many people will be glad to hear of is that the Android Wear Update has now officially launched a watch face API, which means devs can start to create their own official watch face as a wallpaper, rather than a full app (which is the current practice). At launch, Google already has faces from many popular brands such as Pac-Man, Despicable Me, Red Bull, Porsche and many others including one from an app we reviewed a couple of years ago, Muzei Live Wallpaper (through their app). All these can be downloaded from Google Play’s new section under the Android Wear tab (which I couldn’t find… Maybe it will be update in the next couple of hours or so. Till then, use this handy link!). This is just to start, it’s expected that once developers get their hand on the API, more will be flooding the Google Play Store.
Android Wear Update – Android Wear Lollipop update:
Yes, even the Android Wear app got a makeover in the Android Wear Update, making it easier to connect to the device, switch watch faces much easier (the new API watch faces anyway) and also adds a slew of other great new features:
- Undo dismiss: bring back a card you dismissed
- Theater mode: turn off the screen when you don’t want your watch to disturb others
- Sunlight readability mode: On some models, boost brightness to make the watch more readable
- Battery and storage stats: information on your watch’s battery and storage usage
- Update to Android Lollipop
I will warn you here, however, there have been numerous reviews added to the Google Play store listing today saying that the app has killed battery life. It’s not clear it that is on the Android Wear device, or the phone it’s connected to (or both?) but it’s something you may want to be aware of before you update.
There’s no doubt that this Android Wear Update is great, and once they resolve the battery life issue, I’m sure more users will enjoy the update. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Moto 360 watch to review (there have been issues with delivery), and will be able to try out these new features out for you. There is also bound to be some more features that we don’t know about exactly yet, so stay tuned, and we’ll let you know ASAP.