One of the neat things about Android Wear is that manufacturers have stepped to the plate with different physical designs to suit a variety of style preferences. Android Wear smartwatch owners also have access to a host of watch faces. However, if there's a downside, it's that swapping out wristbands hasn't been as quick and easy as it could be. Google realized this, so it took the bull by the horns and created a new line of watch bands called MODE.
Developed in partners with b&nd by Hadley Roma, the new MODE bands feature a simple mechanism with a slide button to snap and swap watch bands with minimal effort. The new standard brings parity with ease of changing out bands on the Apple Watch. We're not suggesting that the process of swapping watch bands might have been a deciding factor for someone in the market for a smartwatch, but Google's new standard is subtle enhancement that Android Wear users will appreciate.
The first batch of MODE bands come in silicone and leather options. Buyers can choose between six different colors (Fluro Yellow, Fluro Red, Mint, Black White, and Gray) and four sizes (16mm, 18mm, 20mm, and 22mm) for the silicone line at $50 each and ten different colors (Black, Brown, Tan, Gray, Indigo, Green, Ruby, White, Silver, and Gold) for the leather line, also with the same size options and priced at $60 each.
"This is just the beginning. We want Android Wear to give you as much choice as possible, so we’ll be sharing the MODE mechanism design and source with other brands to use to create their own snap-and-swap watch bands," Google stated in a blog post announcing the new watch band standard.
The new bands are compatible with all current Android Wear smartwatches, including the ASUS ZenWatch (Gen 1 and 2), Huawei Watch, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch and G Watch R, Moto 360 Gen 2, and Samsung Gear Live. If you need help determining a compatible MODE band size, you can look it up online.
MODE bands are currently available at the Google Store, Amazon, and Best Buy.