Google has officially unveiled Android Wear an operating system specifically tailored to wearable devices. Focusing specifically on a wristwatch device, Google has given developers the opportunity to begin looking at design guidelines and creating updates to existing new apps prior to the release of these devices.
A sneak peek at the LG G Watch and Moto 360 has been released revealing its intuitive design implementations. These devices have been created so that much of the heavy lifting remains on smartphones but important notifications users want to see at a glance appear on the wearable device.
Some of the features that will exist on these devices include “context stream”, showing a vertical list of information as it becomes available. Similar to Google Now on a smartphone or tablet, this collects notifications to the watch for users to scroll through.
The notifications, which come to the connected phone, will also be pushed to the connected wearable device, however, these are meant to be simple only showing the most important information. Notifications from messaging apps or time-based calendars will most likely show on the wristwatch with a chime or vibrate to alert users.
If developers want to take app development to the next level, they can change how notifications from their apps will be sent to the wearable device. If they want a notification to contain more text they can use “Big View” to send more information. Additional information can be added to a new “page” by having users swipe to the left. If there is more than one notification it can be combined into “stacks”.
Voice controls similar to Google Now will also be available where users can speak intended actions with simple phrases including “take a note”, “send a message” or “navigate to”. Users can also be prompted to respond via voice on the device.
Google has released an "SDK preview" and a companion application for Android phones, giving developers a hands-on look on how this system will act to further modify any apps. If interested developers should visit http://developer.android.com/wear/preview/start.html to begin this exploration process.