Starting today, I’m going to be running a weekly feature where I go over some new Android Wear apps, watch faces, tips and tricks – that sort of thing. We’ve got a full G Watch review and lots more coverage coming over the next couple of weeks, but today I’m going to focus on the lighter side of having a smartwatch; watch faces. Anyone that’s been intrigued in smartwatches will know that the Pebble has an incredibly envious selection of watch faces available and they’re easily put together as well. As Android Wear has just launched, there isn’t going to be the same sort of selection, but there are some good faces appearing here and there. Today, I’m going to go over how to change yours and some suggestions for you to try out.
There are two ways you can change your watch face on any Android Wear watch, and both of them are brutally simple, which is great, as it means we can mess around as much as we like. The first method is perhaps the easiest, which is to simply touch the display to wake it up, then touch again this time holding down and you’ll see a strip of watch faces available for you to scroll through. To change, just tap on the center of the one you want to keep and that will become your new watch face. The other way of getting to this menu is to open up the voice command screen by tapping again or saying “OK Google” and then swiping up to get to “Settings” in there is an option to change your watch face. Both methods are super easy though.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that while the built in ones are nice – I quite like ‘Dashboard’ and ‘Planetary’ – the selection is fairly limited. So, as an Android user what do we do? We hunt down alternatives, of course! Even though it’s early days yet, some pretty enterprising developers have put hard work and effort into making some good faces for us to ogle over. A simple, yet effective one is ACW Watchface which is said to be in beta, and as default watch faces go, this is one of the best “set and forget” faces available right now. For those looking for something a little more digital, there’s the Binary watch face, which won’t appeal to everyone, but it does look cool and suits Android Wear very well.
On to my absolute favorite option though, Band O’Clock for Wear, which allows you to create your own face using any image you like and select from a choice of fonts. Right now, the options are a little mixed, there’s lots of fonts on offer and they all look good, from pixelated fonts to more ornate script. However, there’s no way to move the position of the time or remove the data, which sadly gets cut off by your cards (Pro tip: the “Hide cards on dimmed screen” setting in the Android Wear app on your phone will prevent your face getting covered up when dimmed). Still, this allows you to get the most out of that color display and you can really make some cool stuff with Band O’Clock.
I’m a big Minecraft fan, and when I came across this Creeper as a Pirate image I had to make a watch face out of it. It’s difficult to take a photo of, but you can have some good fun with Band O’Clock and I tip my hat to its dev, uPhyca. Sure, there’s the question of using artwork found online for watch faces like this, but for personal use I see no real harm. Of course creating your own face using other’s work and putting it into the Play Store would be different. Go ahead and explore the world of Android Wear faces and let me know what you come up with! Don’t be afraid to reach out in the comments and throw me some suggestions for next week’s feature!