The release of the Pixel Watch and Tablet is part of Google’s effort to inspire developers to create and perfect more apps for the company’s many platforms.
After Samsung’s adoption last year, Google is making a strong argument that the imminent introduction of the Pixel Watch will be the next largest driver for Wear OS as an app platform.
The Android Developers Blog featured the Pixel Watch and, to a lesser extent, the Pixel Tablet in a post shortly after the product’s release. During a recent developer conference, the Android team stressed the need of optimizing apps for the many new watches that consumers will be receiving as gifts.
This message is delivered every year during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and after the company introduces new hardware with updated software. However, this is a more recent effort on Google’s part, and it demonstrates improved messaging integration between hardware and the OS/development platform team. Google’s hardware becomes increasingly feature-rich, and the software experience becomes more appealing, as a result of this interaction. In the meantime, the Android team has also done something similar for Samsung’s newest release.
The Pixel Watch “features the newest improvements to the platform, Wear OS 3.5,” according to a Google summary, which also highlights app development tools including Compose for Wear OS and the Tiles Material library, with a focus on encouraging clean, contemporary aesthetics. Improvements to testing for watch faces, tiles, and complications are just one of the many highlights in the latest version of Android Studio Dolphin.
Todoist is also featured, as the task app’s install growth rate increased by 50% after a complete wearable rebuild that made use of Compose for Wear OS.
All displays and interactions were overhauled with the current Material Design for Wear OS as the primary focus. Todoist’s app design was simplified by switching to Compose for Wear OS from WearableDrawerLayout.
Using Compose for Wear OS reportedly slashed development time by 30% for the Outdooractive team, which was another statistic revealed by the app’s creators.
With the “updates and improvements from Wear OS and the Google Pixel Watch,” Google explains how much easier it is to create unique app experiences for users. These features are being used by apps to amaze and please their customers; you can do the same.
Additionally, there is an early push to “get started with another interesting form factor coming to the Pixel ecosystem, the Google Pixel Tablet, by optimizing your app for tablets!” An humorous disclaimer specifies in fine language that:
A certification for the Google Pixel Tablet is lacking, as mandated by the FCC and other authorities. The sale or distribution of this device is prohibited until all necessary approvals have been received from the appropriate authorities.