Google is reportedly working on a Tiles API for its WearOS platform. This will enable Android developers to make customized third party Tiles.
The search giant is not giving up on its watch platform just yet. Improvements are coming through on a regular basis. The latest upgrade is not official just yet, but perhaps soon it will be.
According to newly discovered code, third party developers will soon be able create their own Tiles. So far only native ones from Google are allowed to run.
There is an initial commit of Wear Tiles API posted to the Android Open Source Project. It can be seen on this link. The description reads as follows.
This checks in the app-side of the Wear Tiles API. Tests (and testing libs) have not yet been added, but will come in a future CL. This version exists really to start kicking off API reviews.
Inside the code, several references can be found to the term “androidx”. This implies the search giant plans to add the ability to create third-party tiles as part of an update to Android Jetpack’s Wear Library.
If the functionality sees the light of day, it will be a healthy upgrade on the original Tiles feature. To remind, this was introduced just over a year ago. The functionality essentially enables you to view information at a glance, via widgets. To flick through them simply swipe to the left or right.
Last spring, the company introduced tiles for workout and health. These allow you to start an exercise straight from these, and check in on progress towards your daily and weekly goals. Initially the number of tiles was limited to five (Goals, Next event, Forecast (weather), Heart rate, Headlines and Timer). Since the WearOS update in September, this has been bumped up to ten.
Of course, there are no guarantees we will actually see the Tiles API for WearOS. But it would make sense. What remains to be seen is how long we’ll need wait for the upgrade.
This could all be a part of a push by Google to make a name for itself in the wearables space. The Pixel Watch never surfaced but we are expecting the Google-Fitbit acquisition to get the necessary regulatory approvals in the near future.
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