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Android Wear watch faces are now interactive and way more useful

And Google rolls out its answer for the Apple Watch's intimate Digital Touch feature

Google's making it possible for Android Wear developers to do way more with watch faces starting today. "We’re launching interactive watch faces, making it easier (and more fun) to stay connected, right from your wrist," the company wrote in a blog post. "Now, with just a tap, your watch face can change its design, reveal more information, or even launch a specific app." Watch faces can now move back and forth between several screens of data, making them far more useful and lessening the need to enter a watch app. Under Armour's watch face is already taking advantage of the new functionality; tapping on the screen cycles between your fitness stats (steps, calories burned, etc.) Google has set up a separate section for interactive watch faces within Google Play.


The second major part of today's Android Wear announcement is a new Together watch face that's made by Google itself. Essentially, this looks like the company's answer to Digital Touch on the Apple Watch. After making a link with a chosen contact, you can share emoji, photos, your current activity — and yes, you can also exchange doodles scribbled onto your watch's display. It's a bit more limited than Digital Touch since you can only use Together with one other person and both of you must be using the same watch face. But it couldn't be more clear that this is Google's answer to one of the Apple Watch's more personal and intimate features (minus the creepy mime hands and ability to share your heartbeat). Google says the necessary software update to enable interactive Android Wear watch faces will be rolling out over the coming weeks. That is expected to be Android Wear 1.3. Separately, Google announced that the same update will (finally) bring Google Translate to Android Wear, so you'll be able to get translations from your wrist when traveling.

Google together