Google Wear OS now supports hardware acceleration for the watchface: this means that their rendering and animation will be taken over by the GPU, thus ensuring higher frame rates and more fluidity. Developers must manually enable this option (and only on the smartwatch the most recent Android-based 9): by paying careful attention to the possibility that the energy consumption increases. Google recommends you not to rely on animations that are too long and too heavy, just to save the battery power.

Wear OS already supports the hardware acceleration for the graphics of some elements of the UI, but the compatibility with the watchface has been introduced only recently with the version 2.7.0 of the Wearable Support Library. In addition to an evident increase of benefits for the end-user side experience, using this method, developers will have access to more data on the performance of the interface, in such a way as to simplify the process of debugging and performance tuning.

Hardware acceleration is available only on the smartwatch with Wear OS based on Android 9, that is, in fact, the current version (although for a smartphone, we’re already coming to version 11). To implement it is relatively simple for developers, who can also specify exceptions to the smartwatch older (and therefore with the hardware exceeded).