Google wants to make it quicker to get information from a smartwatch.
To do that, the search giant on Thursday announced new options for watchfaces on Android Wear devices, which are powered by Google-made software tailored specifically for wearables.
UnderArmour’s watchface lets you see how many calories you’ve burned. Google
The new watchfaces will let people immediately see information like the weather or a step counter right when they glance at their smartwatch, instead of having to change to a different screen. The feature will be available in the coming weeks, Google said.
“With just a tap, your watch face can change its design, reveal more information, or even launch a specific app,” Flavio Lerda, an Android Wear software engineer, wrote in a statement.
The move indicates Google is responding to user’s requests to more easily see information their watches can display. When the first Android Wear watches were released last year, Google at the time opted for simpler watchfaces, likely trying not to overwhelm users who are not used to wearing a computer on their wrists. Apple, with its Apple Watch, allows people to do some things from its default screen, like launching an alarm or the watch’s fitness features. But, true to Apple style, the watchfaces have largely remained simple as well.
Unlike Apple, Google is asking app developers to create watchfaces to fit user’s interests. One watchface, made by UnderArmour, shows a step counter or a tracker of how many calories you’ve burned. Another watchface shows you how many unread emails you have, or what meetings you have coming up.