Google introduces quick-swap watchbands for Android Wear

Android Wear logoOne of the things the Apple Watch has been able hold over its Android Wear competitors is the ability to easily swap watchbands. Today Google hopes to catch up with a new line of easily changeable watchbands called "Mode." The design is pretty simple. Lugs on the watch body hold a permanent bar, and the band has a trapdoor for the bar that opens and closes via a little switch.

The bands are made in partnership with watchband company "b&nd by Hadley Roma." They come in four different widths, so they should fit most of the existing Android Wear devices out there. The Android Wear website has a sizing chart for existing devices. For what Google calls the "first collection," there are ten leather bands and six silicone bands in a rainbow of colors, but no options for a metal version.

In the past, Android Wear OEMs have recommended going to a jeweler to have watchbands swapped out, so easily removable bands are a big improvement. Google says it's sharing the Mode mechanism design, instructions, and specs with other brands in the hope that a whole ecosystem springs up. The bands are available at the Google Store (US), Amazon, and Best Buy. Leather goes for $60, silicone for $50.

Google introduces quick-swap watchbands for Android Wear

Update: The bands work with most Android Wear watches (some regular watches, too), but the fine print says "Not compatible with Moto 360 (1st Gen), Sony Smartwatch 3, Moto 360 Sport, LG Watch Urbane - 2nd Edition LTE."

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android Wear, Google, smartwatch

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