Amid the flurry of other wearable announcements, Google today informed third-party developers that they can start releasing Tiles for their Wear OS apps.

First announced in 2019, swiping left on a clock face already lets you place and interact with Tiles from:

  • Agenda: Next event
  • Clock: Hand-Wash Timer, Timer
  • Google Fit: Breathe, Goals, Heart Points, Heart rate, Workout 
  • Google News: Headlines
  • Weather: Forecast

All five applications are from Google, and the company has been working to open up the capability to third parties since the beginning of this year when it released the Jetpack Tiles library in alpha. Since then, the company “included many of the requests and performance improvements into the APIs.” 

You can add any additional feedback here to help us prioritize API improvements for future releases.

Developers are now able to upload to the Google Play Console and publicly release Wear OS Tiles: 

Let your users know they can try out the new experience. You can also upload a screenshot of your Tile to your Play Store preview assets within Google Play Console. 

Wear OS next update

At I/O 2021 in May, Google showed upcoming examples from Sleep Cycle, Hole 19, Adidas Running, Calm, Outdooractive, Flo, and Golf Pad. Unsurprisingly, they are all health and fitness related. Tiles are meant to be highly glanceable and only show important information “that users can read in a matter of seconds.” Other design considerations include:

  • To safeguard the user’s battery, avoid elements that require frequent re-rendering.
  • Save highly interactive experiences for your activities. However, you can link into those activities from your Tile.
  • Avoid text like “x minutes ago” or “in x minutes” for past or future events as this requires frequent updates. Instead, display the actual start or end time or use a statement like “in the past.”

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: