One of the coolest things about Android Wear is the ever-expanding array of face designs you can find for your watch. I've already put together a collection of some of my favorite Android Wear faces, but there's a more specialized category that also deserves to be addressed: watch faces that are animated.
Almost all watch faces are technically animated, of course, since they contain some level of movement. What we're talking about here are designs that have animated elements beyond the basic clock parts, as a core part of their design -- kind of like a live wallpaper for your wrist. Done right, such an approach can add a new dimension to your smartwatch experience without taking a huge toll on your device's battery life.
These five animated Android Wear watch faces are great examples -- and they're all worth giving a whirl.
1. Weareal Live 3D Watch Faces (free)
Weareal brings a lifelike light-and-shadow effect to some tastefully done designs. The effect is simple but impactful: When your watch is illuminated and you move your wrist around, you see the illusion of light reflecting on the various surfaces of the face. It's something LG has also built into a few of the preloaded faces on its own smartwatches, and it's really a clever addition.
Animation aside, Weareal's designs have a clean and minimalist vibe with little in the way of extraneous info. As of now, you can pick from four different themes -- light gold, dark gold, black, and silver, with or without number markers -- though from the looks of it, more options should be on the way soon (possibly via optional in-app purchases).
2. Wear Time Circuit Watch Face ($0.99)
If futuristic designs are your cup of tea, Wear Time may be just the face for you. The design shows a ticking circuit board with subtle electrons flowing behind it. It's a neat touch without being so over the top that it's distracting.
Wear Time has a ton of options for customization, too, including the color, position, and format of the time and date along with the color and intensity of the circuit board and electrons.
3. Space and Time Watch Face (free)
This aptly named face puts the time into orbit right on your wrist. It's pretty straight-forward and somewhat short on options, but if you like a touch of space in your life, it's a nicely done no-frills design you're bound to enjoy.
4. Pac-Man Watch Face ($0.99)
Uh -- hello? Pac-Man. Watch Face. What more need I say?
5. Material Animation Watch Face for WatchMaker Premium ($1.29 + $2.99)
This last one's a bit different from the rest, as it's a theme for WatchMaker -- an app that provides the framework for you to download and install thousands of user-created designs. So in addition to the face itself, you'll need to have the premium version of WatchMaker, which costs about three bucks (and opens the door to using tons of other faces, too, many of which are free).
But enough about the nuts and bolts of it: Material Animation gives you a bright and colorful Material-esque design with a moving landscape background that changes based on the time of day and current weather conditions. It's loaded with indicators and options, including the ability to tap the watch in different places to pull up info like calendar events and alternate time zones.
That's all for now, folks. Still hungry for more? Click over to my main Android Wear watch face roundup: