Google says in a new blog post that it will now allow third-party developers to create custom Tiles for Wear OS. It first introduced Tiles in 2019, widgets that users could glance at and swipe among to get information about weather, calendar notifications, or stats like heart rate. All of the Tiles used to be directly from Google or the device’s manufacturer.
Its Jetpack Tiles library for third-party developers is now in alpha. Google notes in the blog post:
Tiles can be designed for many use cases, like tracking the user’s daily activity progress, quick-starting a workout, starting a recently played song, or sending a message to a favorite contact. While apps can be immersive, Tiles are fast-loading and focus on the user’s immediate needs. If the user would like more information, Tiles can be tapped to open a related app on the watch or phone for a deeper experience.
Wear OS has been in limbo for a while, with small updates coming here and there, but without a clear path for its future. In the latest blog post, the company says the new custom Tiles “will become available to users later this spring when we roll out the corresponding Wear OS platform update.”