Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Android Wear Getting Started Tutorial

Android Wear extends the Android platform to wearables. These small, powerful devices give users useful information just when they need it. Watches powered by Android Wear respond to spoken questions and commands to provide info and get stuff done. These new devices can help users reach their fitness goals and be their key to a multiscreen world.
We designed Android Wear to bring a common user experience and a consistent developer platform to this new generation of devices. We can’t wait to see what you will build.

This is launched on march 2014 For now it is for watches and later it may expand to other wearable like shoes, pen, etc. The Youtube video showcasing the features of Android Wear by Google is mind blowing.

Getting started

Your app’s notifications will already appear on Android wearables and starting today, you can sign up for the Android Wear Developer Preview. You can use the emulator provided to preview how your notifications will appear on both square and round Android wearables. The Developer Preview also includes new Android Wear APIs which will let you customize and extend your notifications to accept voice replies, feature additional pages, and stack with similar notifications. Head on over to to sign up and learn more.


The components involved are:
  1. Signing up for the preview SDK here.
  2. Once you're approved, you're essentially added to a tester group that gives you access to the Android Wear Preview app. Install it. Don't worry, you're not missing out on much - it's very basic and serves as a glue between the device and the watch. It sends notifications, receives responses, and acts on them - that's about it. The key here is that we can actually act on notifications, which is what a lot of smartwatches so far have gotten very wrong. Samsung tried but because of that had to limit support to only its own devices.
  3. Install the Android SDK.
  4. Install the Android Wear system image via the SDK, along with a few more things described here.
  5. Create an Android Virtual Device (AVD) with the Android Wear configuration and fire it up. You can pick a square or round watch shape - I recommend square because the round one cuts off a lot of information and is much more awkward to use. You'll see a demo later on in this post.
  6. At this point, you have to hook up the device running the Android Wear Preview app from step 2 to your computer, execute an adb command to set up communication (adb -d forward tcp:5601 tcp:5601), and you're off.
  7. If you're a developer, you can download 3 example apps that come with the preview SDK to get a better understanding of how the code works. Just look for the link in the welcome email. The apps are called ElizaChat, RecipeAssistant, and WearableNotificationsSample

And now it's time for some illustrations and animations.

SNAGHTML64f6b4fe 3-18-2014 12-01-06 PM 3-18-2014 12-01-27 PM
Left to right: home screen, individual notification, swiping through the actions
3-18-2014 12-21-52 PM 3-18-2014 12-21-45 PM 3-18-2014 12-21-36 PM