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Wearable and Android App Development

Aug 27, 2015
Looking back at the wheel of technological advancements over the quarter of the past century, wearable technology could most easily be termed the most innovative since the launch of the smartphone. With major technology companies jumping the connected devices bandwagon, wearables have gone mainstream over the past one year. Although, the terms 'wearable technology' or 'wearable gadgets' are quite self-explanatory and used interchangeably, they are not all-inclusive. There are a few distinctions to what can be termed a wearable device.

These devices tap into the concept of connected devices and self, utilize sensors along with wireless communication frequencies to establish a connection with a user's smartphone. They require applications that directly run on the handheld device to give users access to hardware such as services, sensors and activities on the smart device display. To run as well as develop applications for Android wear devices, a strategic partnership can be formed with a team of Android app developers. This is because publishing an app for the Android wears requires the availability of a companion handheld app containing the app. Furthermore, the users need to download the companion handheld application, as the Android-wear devices do not support the Google Play Store.

The Android app developers need to address a few IT requirements before they proceed with the development of Android wear application.
  • The Software Development Kit (SDK) tools updated to version 23.0.0 or higher, which would enable the developers to build as well as test applications for devices.
  • The SDK should also be updated with Android version 4.4W2 (API level 20) or higher. With the updated version of the platform, the developers have access to new APIs for their apps.


  • The further stages of development as followed by a web application development company in developing a wearable app are mentioned as under:
  • It is highly recommended that the application is built and deployed for testing on a real hardware, to better determine the user experience. In case, a working Android-powered wearable is not available; an emulator is applicable, which would facilitate the developers in testing the UX of the app for varied screen sizes.
  • The application needs to be deployed on an Android wear device for a final run of tests.
  • To ensure that the app on the wearables is always connected to the handheld device, it should be listed when the 'adb devices' command is run. The system log of the Android wear device is accessible from the Android tool window on Android Studio.
  • Developing applications with Android Studio follows the standard procedure of creating a 'New project' and configuring details like Wear, API 20: Android 4.4 (KitKat Wear) listed under the Minimum SDK tab.
  • While developing the application, the apps are installed directly on the wearable, similar to handheld applications. However when publishing the application to the Play Store, the app is embedded within the handheld app. This allows the app to be automatically downloaded onto the wearable when connected.
  • About the Author
    Maria is android app developers working in a leading android app development company and has developed a number of android apps. She also writes articles on issues pertaining to the challenges related to web development, monetization and optimization strategies for web application development company.
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