Android Everywhere: Part 1 (Android Wear)

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So, finally Ktreat.com is back with a post after a long long time (almost two months). The halt was brought about by me being busy in some other things, but now I’m back with the same zeal as before.

So, moving on, Google finally removed the suspense from the “L” referred by this previous post on Android L and named the next release of Android (Android 5.0) as Lollipop. Now, with it Google is trying to bring Android to every aspect of life from living room to car to your watch. And this series of posts will focus on introducing how Google is going about it. Okay, so lets get started.

Android Wear

Google is introducing a platform for wearables, like watches, based on Android. It supports both circular and square screens. It’ll understand context and show quickly relevant information and thus you can still remain engaged with the people you are with.

Google I_O 2014 - Keynote - YouTube.mp4_snapshot_00.51.47_[2014.10.26_20.58.55]

The above is a demo on an LG-G watch.

You can swipe through applications, etc running on the phone and the wearable itself. Focus and hold on the screen and you can change the style/theme of the watch.

It is completely voice enabled – Just say “OK Google” and it puts up the application to speak. You can say things like “remind me to check my mail box when I get home” and it will set the reminder for the same.

 

Google I_O 2014 - Keynote - YouTube.mp4_snapshot_00.53.22_[2014.10.26_21.09.15]  Google I_O 2014 - Keynote - YouTube.mp4_snapshot_00.53.30_[2014.10.26_21.15.17]

And this is not the end of it, you can use it to control other devices as well. For Example: Say “Play some music” and it will start the music player app on your phone and will show the controls on your watch or you can say “Set an alarm for 7 AM” and it will oblige.

Google I_O 2014 - Keynote - YouTube.mp4_snapshot_00.55.55_[2014.10.26_21.21.56]

 

Google I_O 2014 - Keynote - YouTube.mp4_snapshot_00.55.53_[2014.10.26_21.29.46]

On receiving call on your phone, you can either take out the phone and start talking or you can swipe your watch to reject or even send a quick custom SMS reply. You can even disable the call alerts on your watch by swiping down to set the watch on Do Not Disturb Mode.

Google I_O 2014 - Keynote - YouTube.mp4_snapshot_00.54.39_[2014.10.26_21.33.16]

Google I_O 2014 - Keynote - YouTube.mp4_snapshot_00.54.53_[2014.10.26_21.29.08]

Google has made available the Android Wear SDK to build new apps for the wearables. Here are a few points about it:

  • Automatic Sync of notifications from Phone or Tablet to watch.
  • APIs to build beautiful UIs.
  • Can write code that runs directly on the wearable itself.
  • Also has all the Android APIs available.
  • Use voice actions creatively in your app.
  • Send data between mobile/tablet and wearable.

Google I_O 2014 - Keynote - YouTube.mp4_snapshot_00.59.55_[2014.10.26_21.42.32]

Read more about the SDK here.

Finally, for the users, how do you get an app on the wearable? Well, you first have to install the app on your phone/tablet from Play Store. Now, when you connect the wearable to the phone, the wearable portion of the app is automatically installed on the watch.

And, by the way, these watches are water resistant. There are other Android Wear watches other than LG-G watch and one of them is Moto-360 which looks quite cool. Read more about android wear here.

So, that’s all for today. Hope you liked it. Comment if you have any.

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