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Android Wear Weekly: Samba Shows Potential of Android Wear with Video Previews

January 23, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Many of you might be familiar with Samba, but if not here’s a crash course; Samba is a video messaging app that – unlike others – isn’t real time. Instead, you send a video message to someone, they open it at their leisure and Samba records their reaction and sends it back to you. It’s the sort of messaging app that’s great for families working different shifts, long distance relationships and friends on completely different time zones. It’s a nifty app, that’s for sure, but this week it got a little better while at the same time showing off an intriguing new use for Android Wear; video previews.

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In its latest update, Samba uses Android Wear to show users a quick video preview of a recent Samba message. Imagine an animated GIF on your watch and you quickly get the idea. This sort of thing is not only great for Samba users with an Android Wear watch, but it’s an intriguing display of what Android Wear could do in later versions. Today’s generation of watches don’t ship with a speaker, and personally, I’m happy they don’t. I don’t want to have a conversation with my wrist. However, the displays on these watches are fairly decent, and a video preview like Samba’s could be used in other apps to great effect.

Imagine being shown a quick video preview of a video Hangout with your friends showing you what you’re missing and who’s present? Or a short replay of a winning hoop from a sports app? The uses aren’t exactly endless, but video previews like these could make great use of these nifty little displays on our wrists. Of course, it wouldn’t be long before advertisers find a way to exploit this sort of thing, sadly. It’s an interesting example of what Android Wear can do and I hope more apps and companies find a way to use these screens like this.