It's no secret that Wear OS development is lackluster, and this latest news proves just that. Only two years after releasing Tiles, Google is finally letting third-party apps make use of the platform's core feature.
If you've not had much experience with Wear OS watches (you're not missing out on a lot), Tiles is an assortment of screens that appear in a swipeable carousel from the watch face. They either provide easy access to information (like weather or fitness stats) or actions (like timers).
Tiles on Wear OS.
Until now, only first-party apps from Google and OEMs were able to make use of Tiles. Given that access to third-party apps is a unique selling point of Wear OS, it's surprising that Google didn't rise to the occasion earlier. Don't get too excited, though, as these custom Tiles will only be made available to users later this spring with a corresponding Wear OS platform update.
Interested developers can check out the newly-announced Jetpack Tiles library. Google has also published a list of best practices that should help you make an ideal one.