In a short but informative little dev bytes video following all the buzz about the Android Wear and upcoming smartwatches that are to run off of the software, Justin Koh from the Android Wear team goes over some of the possibilities with a smartwatch powered by Android Wear, and how developers can get their apps ready for the wrist. The video goes over key details about how developing for Android Wear is different from developing your standard Android App. Much like any smartwatch, a huge benefit of Android Wear is being able to have access to information you need right when you need it. This is already done in a way with notifications on our Android devices, and things like Motorola’s Active Display and the Peek feature within the latest beta of the Paranoid Android ROM do a great job at providing this action of immediately accessible information.
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Android Wear seeks to bring the immediate benefits of the same notifications we get on our Android devices now, to the wrist. They give a quick demonstration of how something like this might work, even showing how the notifications can be synced across both devices. The same exact notification that shows up on Justin’s Nexus 5 also shows up on the emulated Android Wear smartwatch, and when the notification gets updated on the phone, it bridges over to the Android Wear in real time. According to the video, you’ll also be able to do things like dismiss the notification on your Android Wear by swiping much like you can do now in many Google services, and the notification also disappears on your phone. All of this is made possible by the new Notification Listener API that was added in Android 4.3.
If you develop for Android and want to get started with developing your apps for Android Wear, it’s easy to do so. The first thing you’ll want to make sure to do is go to developer.android.com/wear, and sign up for the Android Wear preview and read through the information that comes along with it. After doing so the next step is to download the system image from the SDK manager and create and Android virtual device with Android Wear, and lastly you would need to install the Android Wear preview app on your Android phone, which you’ll want to make sure is connected to the emulated device for begin development.