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With just a few weeks since the unveiling of the Android Wear SDK, we’ve already seen a number of terrific apps optimized for Android Wear. One of the main questions we’ve heard from you is, “will you support third party custom watch faces?” The answer: yes, for sure! Customization has helped Android thrive, and the same will be true for Android Wear. And to make sure that you’re able to create the richest experience possible, we’re hard at work on a custom watch face API.  

Custom watch faces are activities running inside another process. However, they have some special considerations due to interactions with the stream and always-on ambient mode--including using a shorter peek card, moving the status indicators for battery and mute, and rendering the faces differently in ambient mode. Right now, without an official API, making a really great watch face currently takes a fair bit of tweaking. 

We are working to make this as simple as possible for you so that it’s easy to make good-looking faces that work well across multiple form factors, conserve battery, and display the user’s card stream nicely. Some of these changes won’t be ready until we migrate Android Wear to the Android L release later this year, but don’t fret: they’re coming!

So, where does that leave us today? As we work on finalizing the API, we would suggest not posting your apps publicly to Google Play until there is a stable, published API (we’d suggest using Alpha or Beta channels, available through the Play Developer Console, in the meantime). These changes mentioned above are coming soon and will make it easier for you to create great watch faces, but the existing unpublished API may not be compatible with the next Android Wear release, and no one wants to disrupt the experience for users in the future.
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13 comments
 
Awesome, I'm developing a watch face and these are exactly the features I'm waiting for having a perfect user experience.
 
+Matias Duarte can you pull the keyboards for Wear down from the Play Store? Devs are trying to make Wear a phone on your wrist and you and I that's not what it is.
 
+Darren Bates he won't pull anything off the play store. While keyboards and launchers for wear go against what google imagined for the platform, it is an open system and people can do whatever they want. If they want a launcher, they can have that. After some time people will realize what works and what doesn't. 
 
^ yes! If you have a problem with keyboard apps for Wear, LOOK AWAY.
 
About keyboards. I really think people will use it more than voice at the beginning and as talk with devices are not a real culture for many reasons. At least here in Brasil. Security and privacy are two of then. Imagine someone talking on the street "respond to whatsapp: show me your teets". After almost a year using the first gear i can say. Its a great feature. And if people are using wearables to not take the phone from pocket, why not? This is what then made for.
 
+Luis Gomes or you can sext on your phone. You know, that other little 5 inch brick in your pants that Android Wear was never meant to replace and can't work without.
 
+Darren Bates if i need to text more than 10 words of course. But has the IF i want to have this work. Experience says that in many cases its not really necessary. 
 
This is great to hear. The Motorola watch face design contest really brought out the best in peoples ideas but its understandable how difficult it must be to translate something like that without a true API. Very excited for the future of wearables in general. Such a potentially powerful tool.
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