Google helps developers get ready for round smartwatches

Getting developers onboard will be key for the future success of Android Wear, said analyst

Android Wear UI on square and round display.

Android Wear UI on square and round display.

Smartwatch applications can be customized for devices with round displays by tweaking the user interface, Google said as it ramps up efforts to get developers ready for the launch of Android Wear.

Wear is an extension of Android, and to make the OS a better fit for smartwatches with their small screens, the user interface relies on voice control, Google Now and notifications to present relevant information to the user.

"Designing for Android Wear is pretty different from designing for the desktop, phones or tablets. Just like with Glass, you really need to think carefully about the information and actions you present to the user, and even more so about the contexts in which your app will come to the surface," said Roman Nurik and Timothy Jordan, design and developer advocates on the Android Wear team, in a blog post.

Part of the challenge will be to develop apps that work well on smartwatches with square and round displays. To make notifications fit on the LG G Watch's square screen and the Moto 360 from Motorola, Nurik and Jordan had to make some changes to the user interface of a walking tour app they developed. For example, they increased margins and moved some text and notifications on the round display.

They used the Android Design Preview tool, which lets developers mirror part of a computer screen to a connected Android device, to quickly see what effect changes had.

To truly understand Android Wear developers really need to use (and ideally live with) a real device, according to Nurik and Jordan. Only then can they fully evaluate the complexity of flows, the size of touch targets, and the legibility of text, the two said.

Android Wear will be one of the themes at Goggle's developer conference I/O, which takes place on June 25 and 26. Previous years Google has handed out tablets, smartphones and Chromebooks to visitors, and it wouldn't be much of a surprise if they got a smartwatch this year.

Google has been posting a steady stream of blog posts detailing the possibilities Android Wear will afford developers. Last week, it showed an integration between a smartwatch and Nest's smoke detector, a company that Google acquired for US$3.2 billion in January.

It is very important for Google that it get developers excited about creating apps for the Wear platform. If Google and its partners can't offer consumers a large variety of apps, they just end up with a regular watch, according to Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices at IDC.

For developers that want to take a closer look at what the platform can do right now, Google is offering the Android Wear Developer Preview. It includes tools and APIs (application programming interfaces) for optimizing app notifications.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googlesoftwareapplication developmentconsumer electronicsLG ElectronicsMotorola MobilityAndroid OS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?