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Google Play will soon remove any watchface not updated to new API
In case you haven’t heard quite yet, the rumored Lollipop update for Android Wear has finally been made official. Google is adding a slew of new features including an updated Wear companion app, new brightness modes, card retrieval, and most importantly, the Android Wear watch face API. Now, we’ve seen countless watch faces in the Play Store already, as many developers have been sidestepping Google’s unreleased watch face API for quite some time. Unfortunately for the hundreds of watch faces in the Play Store, Google is planning on removing them if they aren’t updated to the new API by January 31st, 2015.
Once the rollout is complete, please transition your existing watch faces to the new API by January 31, 2015, at which point we plan to remove support for watch faces that don’t use the official API.
When asked about custom watch faces at the original Android Wear announcement, Google told developers not to make standalone apps to put in the Play Store. The company warned that the watch faces would be horrible on battery life, and wouldn’t be compatible with other new features that had yet to be released. It makes sense that Google is taking down non-updated watch faces, though with less than two months to do so, it seems like developers are now in a bit of a time crunch.
To all watch face developers out there: Hurry! For us AW users? We wouldn’t worry too much, as we imagine the bigger developers will move pretty quickly and, of course, there’s now plenty of new choices heading our way that better support our favorite AW watches.