Android Wear

Nishant Srivastava

Android Dev/Interaction Designer

Organizer@GDG New Delhi

Information that moves with you

So what is Android Wear ?

Android Wear organizes your information, suggests what you need, and shows it to you before you even ask. Get messages from your friends, meeting notifications, and weather updates at a glance....

Android Wear is a customised android version for wearable devices such as smart watches

OK, so what can it do for me ? 

Whaaaa..what did you just say ..?

  • Notification, most useful information in a managed manner.

  • Voice Search, straight answers to questions

  • Sensors, monitors Health & Fitness

  • Next Multi-Screen Technology

How it Works

  • Requires  android(>=4.3) phone/tablet (referred to as handheld)
  • Requires "Android Wear" app to be installed on the handheld
  • Handheld and Wearable communicate each other via Bluetooth
    (wearable does not connect to internet on its own)

Application Packaging and Publishing

  • When publishing to user, package a wearable app inside a handheld app
  • Wearable app  will be installed on user's wearable automatically when user install handheld app from Google Play Store
  • Package name is mandatory to be same for handheld and wearable app both

What you can DO with it ?

  • Receive Notifications and react to them on the wearable
  • Control apps on the handheld via the wearable
  • Run wearable specific apps ( i.e Compass, Heart Rate Monitor,etc )
  • Voice Search and Voice Actions...and many more...

Lets Get Started !


  1. Java 6 or higher
  2. Android Studio/ Eclipse (or ADT)
  3. Android SDK Tools with the following packages
  • Android 4.4W (API Level 20)
  • Extras: Android Support Repository, Android Support Library, Google Play services

Get Started!

  1. If not using a device get the emulator image from the Android SDK Manager - again for API Level 20!(Intel image requires HAXM Installer in Extras)
  2. Don’t forget to download samples for API Level 20!
  3. Download the Android Wear App on your device

...we have a problem

Working on eclipse for developing apps for Android Wear is a very tricky job (period).

For those of you who like to play with FIRE , and plunge into the pit of Hell ...well , good news you can still build Android Wear apps on Eclipse. Follow the below blog to setup and build Android Wear Apps :

Basic Setup

  • Install Android Studio 
  • Install Android Wear support packages and system image using the Android SDK Manager
         -Android 5.0 (API 21)
         -Android 4.4W (API 20)
         -Android SDK Tools rev23 or later
         -Android Wear ARM/Intel system image
         -Android Support Library (20 or later)
         -Android Support Repository (6 or later)
  • Setup and Android Wear emulator using the Android AVD Manager
  • Start the emulator
  • Download, install and start the Android Wear companion app
  • Enable USB Debugging on your handheld device

Basic Setup ( Contd..)

  • Connect your handheld device to computer via the USB cable.
  • Open TCP port 5601 on your computer.The Android Wear Emulator uses this port to communicate with the handheld device.
    ./adb -d forward tcp:5601 tcp:5601
  • On the handheld device launch the Android Wear companion app
    on first launch, enable Android Wear app as the notification listener , by following the onscreen instructions.
  • Now connect your emulator with the handheld device, by selecting the watch icon in the Action bar 


Notifications are one of the two major design principles of Android Wear: Suggest and Demand

Suggest : Context Stream

  • Context stream, which is a vertical list of cards, much like Google Now 
  • Interact with the cards by swiping them vertically
  • Only one card will be displayed at a time.
  • Add cards to the context stream by creating and delivering notifications. Use NotificationCompat.Builder to create basic notifications 
  • To use Android Wear specific features like pages or actions, or to customize the look of cards on the context stream, use WearableNotifications.Builder

Suggest : Context Stream

int notificationId = 001;

// Build intent for notification content
Intent viewIntent = new Intent(this, ViewEventActivity.class);
viewIntent.putExtra(EXTRA_EVENT_ID, eventId);
PendingIntent viewPendingIntent =
        PendingIntent.getActivity(this, 0, viewIntent, 0);

NotificationCompat.Builder notificationBuilder =
        new NotificationCompat.Builder(this)

// Get an instance of the NotificationManager service
NotificationManagerCompat notificationManager =

// Build the notification and issues it with notification manager.

Here is a short snippet that shows how to create a notification:

Demand : Cue Cards

  • Users can initiate an interaction with their device by using the cue card
  • Swiping up on the cue card will reveal a number of actions that can be executed by tapping them or speaking them 

A word of advice, make sure all information you deliver follows the principle of being timelyrelevant, and specific.


Hello World Notification

Sending and Syncing Data

-Messaging API

        -Fire and Forget, 1 way request

        -Can send only a String

       -Use Case  example : Control Media Player from wearable

-Data API

        -Sync data between handheld & wearable

        -Payload is a byte array( 100KB per Item), But you can use
         map interface to access data

        -Use Case example : Send Photo preview to wearable from

Questions ?

Nishant Srivastava

Kickstart Android Wear

By Nishant Srivastava

Kickstart Android Wear

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