Wear OS 5 only supports watch face format, old watch faces cannot be downloaded

By: Nastya Bobkova | 10.07.2024, 22:21
Wear OS 5 only supports watch face format, old watch faces cannot be downloaded

The watch face format (WFF) was introduced at I/O 2023 and is now required for installation on new watches that come pre-installed with Wear OS 5.

Here's What We Know

This declarative XML format for creating watch faces means there is no executable code or code embedded in the watch face APK. By partnering with Samsung, developers don't have to worry about battery performance or code optimisation. For example, these watch faces are displayed on the watch's coprocessor (MCU).

With the launch of Wear OS 5 on the Galaxy Watch 7, only the watch face format will be supported. Specifically, owners will only have access to watch faces that meet our performance and quality standards. Google explains:

  • If you already own a watch: You can continue to use your existing watch faces on watches running Wear OS 2 or later for now.
  • If you're buying a new watch: When you set up a new watch with Wear OS 5, selected watch faces may not be available for download to your new watch, even if they were available on your previous watch.
  • When transferring to a new watch: If you back up your current watch and restore it to a new watch with Wear OS 5, some old watch faces from your previous watch may not be transferred.

Earlier this year, Google said that watch face format is required to access most complications. Complications are small information modules that can be placed on the watch face of a smartwatch. They provide quick access to information from various apps, such as weather, calendar, steps, fitness activity, and much more.

At I/O 2024, version 2 was introduced with simplified access to weather information and new complication styles, including goal progress and weighted item complication type.

In early 2025, all new watch faces published on Google Play should use the Watch Face format.

Source: 9to5Google