What It’ll Be Like To Use Android Smartwatches

Google promised software for wearables computers, and it didn’t disappoint.

Today Google announced Android Wear, its platform for smartwatch and wearable technology development. While Google has not yet released the full software development kit (SDK) for Android wearables, we can get a good sense of what Android smartwatches will be capable of by digging into the principles in the developer preview.

Pick A Card

Android Wear user interface will be based on cards. Cards are applets (smaller versions of full smartphone or tablet apps) that deliver only the most relevant information for that app. Different app cards will be stacked on top of each other on an Android Wear device and users navigate between them by swiping up and down on the watch.

To navigate to actionable items within a card app, users will swipe horizontally. For instance, if I am taking an American Airlines flight from Boston to San Francisco, the card may pop up telling me that my flight is ready for check-in. To perform the check-in, I will swipe right on the Android Wear device and tap check-in.

Cards will have images in the background to differentiate between which applets are in use and what actions are being performed. So, if I get a message from my boss about a meeting in one card, I can have an image associated with messaging in that card. If I swipe down to my calendar, I can have a time related image in that card. If I swipe right within that calendar, I can confirm the meeting and so forth.

Contextual, Ambient & On Demand

Android Wear devices will be completely aware of its users surroundings and be able to deliver two types of notifications through apps: contextual and on demand. Google calls these “Suggest” cards.

Contextual apps use an Android wearable’s sensors combined with those of a smartphone to deliver information based on what the user is doing. This is totally congruent with Google Now, the Google service that attempts to anticipate what a user is doing, wants to do or intends to search for in the near future.

For instance, today I went to a meeting and I looked up the address for it before I left the house. On my Android smartphone, Google knew that I searched for the address and already had a Google Now card queued up with directions and navigation to the meeting.

The contextual stream in Android Wear will be able to perform a lot of these same types of functions by reading the user’s location and state and delivering information that just shows up on the watch without necessarily creating a vibrating notification. The information is just there ready to be glanced at on the watch.

Demand cards are the opposite of contextual cards. These cards are present on the device, but have to — For more information read the original article here.    

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