As the tech industry tries to decide what to think of the Apple Watch, Google naturally wants to bring the focus back to Android Wear. The company today announced new watch faces and straps to play up the personalization and customizability of its offering.
More specifically, Google says there are now more than 1,000 different watch faces available for Android Wear. To help users find the best ones, the company has expanded its hand-picked collection on Google Play.
To get a better picture of all the watch faces, Google even featured them all in a massive mosaic:
Mountain View has also made a point to underline that “most Android Wear watches use industry standard 22mm bands,” which means you can “choose almost any strap for your device,” a small jab at Apple. It’s almost like the company wants to say, “Hey, don’t forget Android Wear was here first, and it’s more customizable!”
The timing happens to coincide with early Apple Watch reviews coming out today, a date that Google of course knew about. Still, today’s news just seems forced — the announcement could have easily been made yesterday instead, for example.
This isn’t the first time Google has lined up an Android Wear push with Apple Watch hype. Last month, the company released a great ad right before the Apple Watch event.
The message Google wants to send is very clear: Android Wear gives you more options. The devices also happen to be less expensive, so unless you’re absolutely sold on the smartwatch paradigm, getting a non-Apple wearable is a safer bet. That said, we are still in the first generation of wearable devices, so we would argue the best option is simply to hold off, regardless of Apple’s and Google’s marketing.