Android Wear is going to be a big part of Google I/O 2014 this year, and Google helps developers acclimate to the idea of wrist-borne apps. Already, internal developers working on the project are working on software to help them demonstrate and validate concepts for apps for the platform, and they’re using the upcoming LG G Watch and Moto 360 to help them prototype.
In a blog post detailing their efforts, Android Wear team members Roman Nurik and Timothy Jordan discuss how they built a walking tour app for Android Wear, using rough mock ups for a Google Glass app that never got built as a starting point. Doing so required thinking about battery conservation, differing notification prioritization, and also working with the constraints of a screen size that maxes out at 140 x 140 (or 160 x 160 on the round Moto 360) resolution.
The app is simple, basically popping up a notification on your wrist when you’re near a walking tour in the software’s database, and then providing you with simple directions if you choose to undertake a trip. It offers you a number of stops, and a very brief description of the place when you arrive spread across multiple pages.
It’s a clever little bit of software, and one that emphasizes Google’s view of how designing for it will be much different from creating experiences either for mobile or desktop. It’s also a clear and present sign that wearable design and development will be a big part of Google’s I/O show this year. Will that be enough for us to finally see wearables take off in a big way? I’m not making any bets just yet.