Google to Wear developers: Stop making custom watch faces!

android wear clock

Google has a message for developers who are cranking out custom watch faces for Android Wear: Stop!

Wayne Piekarski, a senior developer advocate with Google, urged developers to wait until Google creates an official API for custom watch faces in a post to the Android Wear Developers Google+ page.

Several custom watch interfaces, such as Better Wear Face and Minimalist Wear Watch Face, have appeared in Google Play recently. They use a variety of workarounds to put the traditional hour and second hands on an Android watch. However, Piekarski indicated that doing this requires too many workarounds that could compromise watch performance and battery life.

After his announcement, the post was re-shared by Matias Duarte, Google’s vice president of design. Duarte is largely responsible for Google’s Material Design, a new design scheme to unify Android across phones, tablets, wearables, and TV.

In the post he said Google was working to make this functionality possible, but asked for patience from developers.

“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!”

Neither Duarte nor Piekarski indicated how many custom watch face apps were in Google Play. A search for “watch face” returned at least 20 different apps designed to place a custom face on an Android Wear watch. Results varied depending on the search terms, so it is unclear exactly how many such applications are currently available in the Google Play Store.

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