During last month at Solid Gear, we did the first immersion in the world of smartwatches with WatchFaceCo company designing a watch face application for that new type of devices.
Some people might think that the number of potential users is still not very wide, but the data shows us otherwise if we look to the future. According to the latest forecasts made in February by CCS Insight’s analysts, the wearable’s world, which was growing at rates of 150% in 2014 will pass to near 500% in 2018 by the arrival of Apple Watch. All of this, joined to Solid Gear’s philosophy of betting on cutting edge technologies, which is the heart of the company, took us to immerse into this new project.
How to face this new challenge?
Whenever you start to work in a new technology, excitement and uncertainty are represented, but not equally.
From the requirements collected from the customer in previous meetings, we prepared a Kanban board where we added the different tasks.
Android Watch Faces. Some basic guidelines
The ability to have custom faces is one of the most important possibilities related to the user UI on most of personal devices.
In the case of wearable applications, the projects are composed by two modules, the “mobile” application and the “wearable” one.
The former, as the name suggest, will include everything about mobile application that is displayed on your phone. An example could be a configuration screen to customize different elements of the watch. The “wearable” module will hold the app really displayed in the watch.
The core of the API in the wearable part is the onDraw method, which lets you to draw very fluently the design defined. However, there are times in which we want to draw a simpler version when the device is in ambient mode. This information is provided by the isInAmbientMode method. Other aspects such as preferences mentioned above, would be defined in the mobile module.
Data as weather, temperature… are just some other features that can be drawn without a high complexity. If we have the data, we will simply be able to draw them on the canvas. The limit will only be your imagination!