Android Wear to get support for GPS and third-party watch faces

Android Wear on the Moto 360. Photo: Google.

Android Wear on the Moto 360. Photo: Google.

Google has promised new Android Wear updates that will add support for GPS and bring new features before the end of the year. Also part of the search giant’s plans is enabling Android Wear watches to pair with other wearables, and allowing third-party developers to create custom watch faces

“One of the things we’re going to be able to do is add the ability for these devices to start working with some of the other devices you might wear on your body,” revealed David Singleton, director of engineering for Android Wear, during an interview with CNET. “So we’ll have an update coming that allows you to pair a Bluetooth headset with your watch.”

There will also be an update that enabled support for GPS on devices that ship with built-in GPS chips, so you’ll be able to take your Android Wear watch with you when you go for a run and have it track your route, and then sync it with your favorite running app when you get home.

Google also plans to allow third-party Android Wear watch faces that’ll be downloadable through Google Play.

It’s actually kind of interesting because we haven’t yet launched the API for that, but we’ve already seen tremendous innovation from some third parties who have been able to figure out how to do some of this on their own,” Singleton said.

Some of those watch faces won’t just tell you the time, but also help you do specific things. Some of the examples Singleton gave to CNET include a face that also shows the distance you’ve traveled while you’re out hiking, one that might show share prices, and another that would display sports scores.

Singleton confirmed that “several” of these updates will be available before the end of the year, starting with one this week that will improve the navigation experience and voice actions.