Google’s Android Wear frees users from app grids (Wired UK)

An Introduction to Android WearGoogle Developers

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When Google announced
Android Wear
back in March, it illustrated the company’s
seriousness about the wearable game. Since then, Google has dropped
bread crumbs, slowly painting us a bigger picture of what’s to come
with its mobile OS. A new video from the company, released just
days before its big I/O conference, outlines some of the main
interaction considerations for developers who will be building apps
for the inevitable wave of new wrist worn gadgets.

The big takeaway? Interacting with our gadgets is about to get a
whole lot simpler. Android Wear’s banner claim is that its
interface will free us from the time sucking grid of icons on our
smartphones. Instead, the interface will be glanceable; requiring
users to engage far less time and attention to get the information
they’re looking for.

Here’s a quick look at how they’re doing it: The first thing you
notice about the Android
Wear
interface is how little there is to notice. In the video’s
example of the home screen, you see the time, weather and a “G”
icon that will help you navigate to voice or text search. Users
simply have to hit the button and say “Ok Google” to make any voice
command available.

But it’s not a one-way conversation. Google’s depth of data
makes it easy for Android Wear to build a smart context around each
user, allowing wearables to know what’s important to a person and
when it’s important. For example, based on your calendar or inbox
your smartwatch could notify you a few hours before your flight and
prompt you to check in.

Another important feature is device-to-device communication. Any
notification you get on your phone, you’ll get on your wearable,
too. Where a smartwatch diverges from the phone is how it presents
that information. Android Wear relies on stacks, which allows
developers to bundle multiple notifications together like an inbox,
while pages allow more than one glanceable screen of information at
a time for one notification. Think of this like flipping through a
tiny ebook of notifications. You can combine stacks and pages and
reply to any notification through voice activation.

The video covers pretty high-level stuff, but with LG and
Motorola already building their own Android Wear smartwatches, you
can bet it won’t be long before we get a proper look at what this
OS is capable of.

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This article originally appeared on Wired.com

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23 June 2014 | 9:54 am – Source: wired.co.uk
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