Google: Android Wear Is Not for Apps but for Notifications

In a recent video Google invites devs to think of simplicity when considering Android Wear

By on April 8th, 2014 08:35 GMT

Not so long ago Android introduced its dedicated OS for wearables, called Android Wear which has been hailed as a possible game-changer in the world of wearables. But what Google has in mind might not concur with what users actually want Android Wear to be.

Google recently posted a video on “What Developers Need To Know” via Mashable’s Ask a Dev YouTube channel in order to point out Android Wear’s main focus. And it turns out this is simplicity.

Android Engineer Sagar Seth says in the clip:

“While developing for Android Wear, you have to keep one thing in mind – the goal is simplicity, so no overcrowded UI.”

So far so good, but for those hoping Android Wear devices will come equipped with a host of features capable of providing a complete smartwatch experience, we have to disappoint you here.

It appears Android Wear watches will act as companions to your smartphone. Seth is very clear about this particular feat in the video saying:

“Remember one thing, it’s not a full-fledged application sitting on the wearable itself, it’s just notifications. It’s making the information available when you need it to be. Your notifications should have a priority attached to it.”

And if you didn't get it right the first time, he emphasizes again at the end of the video.

“The goal is to keep the wearable just for notifications.”

On top of that, Seth provides developers with a few design tips, like recommending the use of landscape images, pointing out notifications should have an image in the background and reminding interested parties to focus on the implementation of Google Now voice commands.

But will the smartphone companion concept fly? If we have learned something in recent months, it’s that the fully-fledged smartwatch concept is gaining some traction. We have recently seen a few models that actually aim to replace the smartphone altogether.

For example, this weekend we told you about Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am smartwatch endeavor which can be used to place phone calls, but also supports music playback, Bluetooth headphones, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Furthermore, Samsung appears to be working on a 3G-enabled smartwatch of its own, the Gear Solo, with the same purpose in mind, giving users the ability to place phone calls form their wrists.

Remember we showed you a beautiful gallery of possible Moto 360 app concepts, which included a Weather App, Car Alarm App, Speed Reading App, Flappy Bird app, Spotify app and more and they all looked gorgeous.

At this point, we can’t help but wonder whether Android Wear device adopters won’t be left craving for more and will quickly abandon the devices.

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