New Android Wear watch faces include designs with Hello Kitty, Angry Birds

Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and jewelry retailer Lulu Frost also created watch faces

Android Wear received 17 new third-party watch faces on Monday, including designs from fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and cartoon brand Hello Kitty.

Android Wear received 17 new third-party watch faces on Monday, including designs from fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and cartoon brand Hello Kitty.

Google has added 17 watch faces to Android Wear, including some from well-known game, cartoon and fashion brands.

Smartwatches have a strong fashion element and watch faces allow people to customize the device to match their style, outfit or personality, Google said Monday in a blog post.

The ability to display third-party watch faces also sets Android Wear devices apart from the Apple Watch, which doesn't permit non-Apple designs on the face of its device.

Some of the more casual watch faces include designs with Angry Bird characters, Hello Kitty and a Rubik's Cube. Other watch faces are from luxury brands like fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, consumer electronics maker Bang & Olufsen and jewelry store Lulu Frost. Retailers including Japan's Muji and Moods of Norway also developed designs. There's even a watch face from Triwa, a Swedish company that makes traditional timepieces.

The new watch faces are available now and join the approximately 1,500 faces that can already be downloaded from the Play store, Google said.

Last December, Google updated Android Wear with an API that allowed outside developers to create watch faces. At that time, Google showed designs that had been created with the tool, including one with a Pac Man theme and others from brands like Red Bull and Porsche.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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