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Wear OS 5 Will No Longer Support Watch Faces Not Developed Using WFF, Says Google

Watch faces developed using WFF are claimed to require less maintenance and fewer updates, according to Google.

Wear OS 5 Will No Longer Support Watch Faces Not Developed Using WFF, Says Google

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Shawn Rain

WFF was rolled out by Google in partnership with Samsung in 2023 for watch face development

Highlights
  • Google introduces new compatibility requirements for Wear OS 5
  • Only watch faces developed using WFF will be supported
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 is the first smartwatch to get new update
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Wear OS 5 – the latest operating system developed by Google for smartwatches – will no longer support older watch faces on the Play Store, the company announced on Wednesday. The incompatible watch faces include those not developed using WFF (Watch Face Format). Notably, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch Ultra, launched at the Galaxy Unpacked event, have become the first smartwatches to get the Wear OS 5 firmware and support this new standard.

Wear OS 5 Watch Faces

In a post on the Wear OS community forum, a Google representative shared details about the changes coming with Wear OS 5. As per the company, only watch faces which meet Google's quality standards and performance will be accessible on smartwatches running the new firmware.

Google says users with smartwatches running Wear OS 2 or later will still have access to the existing non-WFF watch faces on the Google Play Store. However, if they transfer their data to a new Wear OS 5 smartwatch, some of the watch faces may not be carried over. Furthermore, select watch faces may not be available for download either.

This change is in lieu of the WFF which Google introduced in 2023 in partnership with Samsung. It is a declarative XML format that can be used by developers to design the appearance of watch faces and set their behaviour. Watch faces developed using WFF are claimed to require less maintenance and fewer updates. Furthermore, they are also claimed to have a positive effect on battery life. WFF also bundles the watch face editor in Wear OS, enabling users to tweak watch faces as per their preference.

The company expects all watch faces on the Google Play Store to be developed using WFF “in early 2025”. However, the recently launched Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch Ultra are the first watches to come with Wear OS 5. Subsequently, the update may be introduced to other compatible smartwatches in the future.

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Shaurya Tomer
Shaurya Tomer is a Sub Editor at Gadgets 360 with 2 years of experience across a diverse spectrum of topics. With a particular focus on smartphones, gadgets and the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), he often likes to explore the industry's intricacies and innovations – whether dissecting the latest smartphone release or exploring the ethical implications of AI advancements. In his free time, he often embarks on impromptu road trips to unwind, recharge, and ...More
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