Planning an App for Wear OS

App development for Wear OS

In this article we’ll discuss the features of the smartwatch and the basics of app development for Wear OS.

What is Wear OS?

Wear OS is what was formerly known as Android Wear - the version of the Google Android operating system created for smartwatches and other wearable devices. When you connect your smartphone to Android 4.3+ and a smart device, Wear OS integrates the functionality of Google Now into it and allows you to receive incoming notifications and alerts from your smartphone to your portable device.

The platform was announced on March 18, 2014. Companies such as Samsung, LG, HTC and Asus have confirmed their participation in the Android Wear project.

In August 2015, Google officially announced the release of a special mobile application for smartphones running the iOS operating system, thanks to which any smart watch based on Android Wear can be synchronised with the iPhone.

Hurry up to Fill the Niche

 

Google fit for Wear OS

 

Wearable devices have been gaining popularity over the last three years now, and during this period the technology has changed a lot and continues to develop. A large number of devices are already available on the market on the basis of this technology. Only a couple of years ago there were very few apps for this platform. Now, however, the number available has risen significantly. Such applications are increasingly in demand and it is high time to consider the idea of creating your own app for Wear OS.

Features

Now let's move on to the features that have made Wear OS smart watches popular.

  • Direct communication with the smartphone. Connection via Bluetooth pairing and smartphone management is available and notifications are received right on the clock screen.
  • Various motion sensors and GPS. These make it possible to create very popular fitness applications and apps for viewing maps, especially on new, powerful devices.
  • Voice sensors. This feature makes it possible to use such services as "OK Google" without resorting to the help of a smartphone.
  • Compatible with Android and iOS devices. Android Wear watches work with phones based on Android 4.3 and with iOS 8.2 or later.

Development Process

 

apps for wearables development process

 

Many people think that development for Wear OS is not much different from the development of any other Android application. And it’s true. But there are several nuances:

  • You should decide at the earliest possible stage whether your app will work all along on the watch (which is not commonly the case), or if it will work in conjunction with the smartphone app. This decision determines the essence of further development.
  • There is a problem with connecting some watches to the PC. If we’re talking about the Android Studio IDE, then we won’t be able to test apps on some older devices (for example, Sony SmartWatch 2), since Android Studio will only compile via USB or Bluetooth with a directly connected watch (not via smartphone). The problem is that SmartWatch 2 connects to the PC only for charging. However, the latest versions of devices will not cause problems with connecting to Android Studio.
  • Emulators are not enough. Having a real device to run the app on Android Wear is much more important than while developing a simple Android app for a smartphone. This is very important for testing the operation of the "smartphone - watch" system with Bluetooth pairing. On the emulator developers risk missing a lot of bugs which may well "pop up" on a real device. This is why we always thoroughly test our products on real devices.
  • Wear OS devices can have not only different screen diagonals, but also different shapes - square and round. This should be taken into account when drawing up the design and layout of the app.

Read more about the challenges developers face with Android app development.

Wearable Devices as Business Tools of the Future

 

Wearables as a business tool

 

Smart gadgets are gradually replacing the familiar wristwatch, because their functionality goes far beyond displaying time. Wearable devices are not only useful for personal purposes, but can bring many benefits for solving business problems.

For example:

  • Employees engaged in work “in the field” can receive tasks and notifications on the go right on their smart watch.
  • Exchange traders can monitor trades and the value of shares by looking at the screen of the wearable device.
  • Restaurant and cafe staff can send information from the system of orders via the Internet or Bluetooth, etc.

As advanced bespoke software developers, we work with different technologies and our task is to help you create an effective app. Сontact us today to discuss your project or just to find out more about the possibilities for your business to skyrocket with the help of digital innovations and maybe it will be your product that becomes revolutionary in the world of smart gadgets.

 

 

 

Tom Dicson
September 13, 2018
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