Wearable technology can still be considered new technology today. Wearables include new smart watches, smart fitness bands, etc. Programming apps for wearables is different from development for mobile devices or desktops. This article highlights some basic concerns for programmers who want to embrace the new world of developing apps for wearable devices.
The adoption of wearables is slower than tablets and smartphones, but these devices are quickly becoming valued assets for gadget geeks. Wearables are small computer devices that users wear such as smart watches and smart fitness devices.
For developers, app design is significantly different for wearables than it is for standard mobile devices. User input and usability are completely different with wearables, and developers should be aware of the changes in order to make useful applications.
Programming For Voice Recognition
Even though voice recognition software has been around for years, developers always focused more on keyboard and mouse input years ago. With wearable development, your apps must recognize voice commands. This makes input design much different when creating apps.
While the device’s API handles most of the voice recognition, the programmer must create apps that take short commands with little input. With wearables, developers can’t create text boxes, pop-ups, forms, buttons, and other standard website elements. A lot of focus is on voice commands, and this can be difficult to design for new wearable app developers.
Short, Quick Output
Wearables aren’t made for long web pages of text output. Instead, programmers have limitations on the output shown to the user. Wearables use “slides” as viewable output.
For example, smart watch users are usually sports enthusiasts or people on-the-run, so they just want the weather, stock numbers or basic time functionality. You don’t want to create output that’s several paragraphs of information for a smart watch user to read.
Smaller Viewer Screens
Tablet and smartphone screens continue to increase in size, but wearables have extremely small screens. Google Glass for example, had a small eye crystal. A smart watch’s viewable area is only slightly larger than the average face of a watch. The font must be much larger than you would use for even a small smart phone. Large, standout fonts are what you need with wearable app technology.
Learning a new app language is fun, but you’ll also need to work with a new API. For instance, Google Glass had an API called “Mirror”. Since it was a RESTful API, most developers would not have had much problems acclimatizing to the new requirements. It’s still a bit of a hassle to learn another API just to stay relevant in the industry.
These are a few issues to consider when you decide to create wearable apps. These devices are still new, so they haven’t been adopted entirely by the programming community. Smartphones weren’t initially adopted either, but now apps are an integral part of revenue for businesses. If you keep up with technology, you’ll always stay relevant in the development industry.