Skip to main content

This is Android Wear: Google engineer offers a sneak peek at notifications on our wrist

Google Android Wear
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ever since Google showed us those tantalizing photos of the Android Wear operating system on the Moto 360, we’ve been wondering what the new wearable platform will look like. Android Wear is supposed to be centered around Google Now and communicate effortlessly with your smartphone, but we still only have a vague idea of what it will look like. Now, a Google developer advocate named Timothy Jordan has released a few images of Android Wear notifications, alongside a short description of the OS.

Jordan posted images of his favorite Android Wear notifications on the official Android Developer’s Google+ page. The first notification is an emergency alert from Nest, warning employees about smoke detected in the office. This dire message is quickly followed by a second notification, telling the same employee that the smoke has cleared. Next up is a notification from the game Clash of Clans, followed by a Google Calendar alert about an upcoming event, and a few images of how Pocket Cast playback will look on Android Wear. In case you were wondering, StarShipSofa is the featured podcast.

Each notification, with the exception of the playback buttons for Pocket Cast, appears as a white box on the display of your Android Wear smartwatch. In the right-hand corner, you see the corresponding app icon and if it’s not a Google-made app, the name of the app also appears in the notification. Then, the snippet of text follows, letting you know that the break room is on fire or whatever else is happening.

Given the limited amount of space available on most wearable device displays, the notifications seem to focus on the brevity of the message and the clarity of the type face. The font appears pretty large in comparison with the notifications you receive on your Android smartphone or tablet, and that’s a good thing. The overall look of Android Wear notifications appears to be consistent with flat UI design elements, fitting in with Android and the current industry trend. The lasting impression is one of simplicity and efficiency. After all, the last thing we want is a cluttered smartwatch display.

Hopefully we will see much more of Android Wear at Google I/O, including the possible debut of the LG G Watch.

Editors' Recommendations

Malarie Gokey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Mobile Editor, Malarie runs the Mobile and Wearables sections, which cover smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and…
When is my phone getting Android 13? Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and more
Android 13 logo on a Google Pixel 6a.

Android 13 has been available for Android phones since late 2022, and it's a pretty minor update from Google. Well, we say minor, but that's only in comparison to the positively gargantuan number of changes that were in Android 12 — and in light of Google's policy of trickling out improvements to Android apps over the course of a year as soon as they're ready. Android 13 is more of a tune-up to the engine that powers your phone than anything else. But it's still one worth getting excited for.

Tablet and foldable owners will see the most benefits, and there will be some updates to Material You to improve Android's customizability. There really isn't much else to say about Android 13. It's a very under-the-hood update, and that trend appears to be continuing with the upcoming Android 14 as well.

Read more
How Android 14 is Google’s secret weapon to make Android tablets great
Galaxy Tab S8 sitting at an angle above the tenth generation iPad.

Over the years, Google has earned itself a bad rep for abandoning the cause of Android tablets. At its most generous, Google’s interest in redeeming Android on tablets can be described as an on-off romance. Apple, on the other hand, poured some serious energy into building up iPadOS as it continued to diversify its iPad portfolio — most recently with the iPad Pro (2022) and iPad 10th Gen.

Then came Android 12L, Google’s first sign that it was taking foldable phones and tablets seriously. With Android 13, the company doubled down on building a standout experience for larger screens that can also scale the UI for different aspect ratios without making apps look like a magnified mess.

Read more
Google gives Android 13 a magic trick for music playback at CES 2023
Mockup image of Android 13's uninterrupted listening feature.

Android 13 launched last year, but Google is far from done working on it. A new feature announced at CES 2023 makes playing audio from Android devices on Bluetooth speakers easier than ever. Dubbed "uninterrupted listening," the feature aims to make transitioning from listening to audio content on your phone to other devices seamless and intuitive.

Uninterrupted listening gives users notifications on their phones when they get close to an audio device. As you go through your home, you might want to start listening to a song or podcast on another device (like your smart speaker or TV) based on your proximity to them. Listening to a song on your Pixel Buds Pro but walking into the kitchen near your Nest Audio? You'd get a notification prompting you to instantly transfer the audio from your earbuds to the speaker.

Read more