Google Updates Complications API for Android Wear, Introduces Wear UI And Open-Sources Components

One of the announcements made at Google I/O is an updated Complications API. It will allow Android Wear developers to easily implement complications into watch faces.

We have discussed Android Wear 2.0 earlier this year. The system is a huge step forward in terms of usability. Google wants to give developers the tools to create the best Android Wear experience. To make it happen with relative ease, a new Wear UI library has been created.

Google has introduced four new tools for Android Wear developers. They are a part of Complications API introduced last year.

  • TextRenderer – Auto-sizes text to fit in bounds defined by watch face makers.
  • ComplicationDrawable – A full rendering solution for complications, that handles all the styling for you, and adjusts the layout to fit the space you specify
  • Easy watch face settings sample – Adoptable sample code that makes it easier to build complication settings with a rich and usable experience.
  • Complication test suite – A sample data provider to help check that your watch face can handle all the combinations of fields that can make up complication data.

Since the release of Android Wear 1.0, developers complained about its closed nature. Google decided to change that and open-source some components, and migrate some of the Android Wear UI components in the Android Support Library. Additionally, some Android Wear features will merge with Android under Finally, outdated user interface patterns will be deprecated. Google developers expect the migration process to continue during 2017. Wear developers will have time until mid-2018 to migrate to the new UI components.

These announced changes won’t impact Android Wear users directly, but they serve as a heads-up for developers to review their code and implement new changes. All new libraries should soon be available in the Android Support Library in Android Studio.

Source: Android Developer Blog

Spotify may have hardware in its plans

Spotify is an online music service that you can listen to on any of your devices, whether you’re at a PC or using your Android or iOS device. It’s a truly cross-platform internet service. So introducing hardware to run Spotify sounds like a strange move, right?

The company may be planning to do just that, as job listings on the site show that Spotify is looking for people focused on hardware and voice recognition for devices outside of Android and iOS.

One of the job listings was a senior product manager for hardware, though this listing was removed. It referenced the Amazon Echo and the Snap Spectacles as software companies that pushed out hardware.

It remains to be seen if the company can make hardware that people will actually want to use for music over their phones. Maybe a dedicated wearable is feasible, though it’s hard to say. What kind of hardware do you want to see from Spotify? Leave a comment!