Android Wear: Square and Round wearables cut out the rectangle

Mar 18, 2014
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Android Wear: Square and Round wearables cut out the rectangle

Today Google unveiled their wearable push with Android Wear, a system that’ll work with both square and round screens. While this might seem like an aesthetic choice, purely for the fashion of the situation, Google has gone in-depth with how they’ll be rolling the system out. Starting with two core functions, Suggest and Demand, developers will be creating unique experiences for every device, while keeping a smooth UI for the lot.

One big element in designing for either a circular or a square is Images. While on a smartphone-sized screen, there’s plenty of room for images alongside text and buttons, here developers will need to be more conservative. In a circular design, images will essentially be peeking out the top.

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As far as rectangles go - they won’t exist. Not in this first wave of smart wearables with Android Wear. Starting up coding for Android Wear devices is done as follows:

"For the AVD Name, enter "AndroidWearSquare" or "AndroidWearRound", depending on whether you want to create an emulator with a square or round display." - Google

In other words: you have two choices. In LG’s G Watch and in Motorola’s MOTO 360 we’re seeing the square and the circle take form - likely Google’s first two choices to show off the software in its purest form.

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Now we wait to see if a big backlash happens due to the restrictions in squares and circles - it may be the end of rectangles as we know it. Stick around SlashGear's Wearable Hub as well as our Android Wear tag portal throughout the day and into the future as we continue to investigate!

UPDATE: We had a chat with Motorola's Lior Ron, corporate vice president of product management on the MOTO 360 today as well. Ron let us know that Google's Android Wear support for circles and squares was at least partially due to Motorola's influence. "That's one of the reasons we were very excited to work with Google on this product and this platform" Ron suggested, "to support a wide range of devices on day one." Have a peek at our full MOTO 360 interview to see the comprehensive talk.


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