Android Developers Blog
The latest Android and Google Play news for app and game developers.
Platform Android Studio Google Play Jetpack Kotlin Docs News

10 May 2023

Introducing the Watch Face Format for Wear OS

Link copied to clipboard
Posted by Anna Bernbaum, Product Manager

We are excited to announce the launch of the Watch Face Format! We worked in partnership with Samsung to introduce a new way for you to build watch faces for Wear OS smartwatches.

The Watch Face Format is a declarative XML format to design the appearance and behavior of watch faces. This means that there is no executable code involved in creating a watch face, and there will be no code embedded in your watch face APK.

The Wear OS platform takes care of the logic needed to render the watch face so you no longer have to worry about code optimizations or battery performance.

Watch faces that are built with this new format require less maintenance and fewer updates than the ones built using the Jetpack Watch Face library. For example, you no longer need to update your watch face to benefit from improvements in performance or battery consumption, or to get the latest bug fixes.

Starting today, you can build watch faces in this new format and publish them on Google Play, ready for when the first Wear OS 4 watches are available.

The Watch Face Format lets you create…

Analog and digital watch faces:

Three watch faces illustrating different analog and digital styles.

Watch faces with complications:

Three watch faces displaying different complication formats.

Customizable watch faces:

Three instances of the same watch face displayed in different color choices.

And more...

A planets-based watch face, a rainbow-inspired watch face and one based on the sun and moon

Watch Face Editing

With the Watch Face Format, we have included the watch face editor as part of Wear OS itself, so users can customize every watch face using the same editor UI. You no longer need to build your own watch face editor for users to customize their watch face.

Customizing the watch face with the in-built watch face editor
Wear OS 4’s editor for watch faces made using the Watch Face Format

Build Watch Faces, or Watch Face Tools

The new Watch Face Format can be used to build watch faces directly, or it can be integrated into creation tools, allowing designers to create watch faces without having to write any executable code.

Watch Face Studio

Today, Samsung has released the latest version of Watch Face Studio, ready for you to try now. As an alternative to directly writing XML using the Watch Face Format, Watch Face Studio makes it easy for designers to create watch faces without any coding experience.

Watch faces made in the latest version of Watch Face Studio use the Watch Face Format by default when they are run on a Wear OS 4 watch, or they run as traditional watch faces when the watch face runs on a Wear OS 3 watch.

Using Watch Face Studio to create a watch face.
Using Watch Face Studio to create a watch fac

Learn more

Build watch faces using the Watch Face Format today: