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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changes mentioned above are coming soon and will make it easier for you to create great watch faces, but the existing unpublished API may not be compatible with the next Android Wear release, and no one wants to disrupt the experience for users in the future.
Sreekanth Krishnan's profile photoKhang Toh's profile photoMariano Zorrilla's profile photoWayne Piekarski's profile photo
Thanks for posting! I was wondering
+Wayne Piekarski  Great! Can't wait until Friday when I get my G watch so I can try out all the new API's and the wear SDK on an actual device. 
That's fine advice, but you know, users are impatient - and if one developer listens to your advice and doesn't deploy their watch face to Google Play now, they'll lose out to another one that does. Just sayin'.
Please make a category for watch faces on Google Play. Otherwise they'll drown among all the crap apps, that currently shows up when you search for Android Wear watchfaces.
Wait... So the current watch faces all use internal/hidden classes ? LoL
Having had a quick play with creating a watch face, one thing I noticed was that I couldn't get any time mechanism to return me better than 1 min resolution once the screen was dimmed. Is it just my rubbish code, or is that a design limitation on Android Wear? Ideally I'd like the ability to create a 1 second resolution watch face (updatable while dimmed), and give the user a choice through settings if they want that or 1 minute updates.
finally now developers can create optimized watch face for Android Wear
Sounds like the next Wear OS update will be with L. Interesting.
+Andrew Kelly The device is sleeping. Updating the time every second would require waking up the device every second, which would murder the battery. The built-in watch faces that display seconds just hide the second hand when in ambient mode.
+Jarett Millard I understand that might be the case but surely it should be my choice as a developer to be able to build such a watch face, and it should be my choice as a user to have a watch face that updates often at the expense of battery life.
+Andrew Kelly From what I've seen of my watch, if you updated the time and re-drew the display every second, i.e. 59 times more than otherwise the battery life would be measured in minutes rather than hours.  It only has a 400mAh battery and still draws 11mA while in low power mode.
Google should have made the API available from day one. Developers are missing a good opportunity on the new platform. The SDK is really at beta stage, you just rushed the release to beat Apple.
Hope it will come soon. I prefer to make my watch face firstly if it needs several months for the api to come out.
Note that developers will have until January 31st, 2015, to port their existing unofficial watch faces over to the new supported API.
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