android wear messaging

The Smartwatch Battle is about to go on full throttle as Apple already introduced the Watch. Samsung, LG, and Moto may not directly rival with Apple’s first smartwatch but expect geeks to always compare Android Wear and Apple Watch.

Android Wear has been around for some time and those who have Android-powered smartwatches know how their wearables can be powerful. The wearable OS may still need a lot of improvements but every time Android developers announce new things, we’re all ears.

Earlier this September, we learned the features of Android Wear for upcoming wearables. A minor firmware update was also released recently but it’s not the rumored Android Wear 2.0 yet which is due to arrive in October.

The latest feature of the wearable OS that’s making me this close to getting a smartwatch is Messaging on Android Wear. Android Developer Advocate Timothy Jordan yesterday explained how the messaging app works and how sending messages on Android Wear is made easier. Smartwatches started with only user notifications but now it can do more including actually reading the messages and replying to the sender.

The feature needs a simple hack though. Build notifications with the NotificationCompat.Builder class and see how the system will display them. Message notifications are displayed automatically on both the wearable and the handheld device. The trick will also add an “Open on phone” action to make it easier to reply on the handheld via an app.

whatsapp_wear

Voice commands will come in handy with this feature. Add the RemoteInput action to the notification via WearableExtender. The device will then automatically grab the “voice input as a string from the RemoteInput included in the Intent” according to developer Timothy Jordan. (More code details HERE)

Reading a text is easier and more meaningful when a photo of the sender is used as a background. A photo background will easily inform the smartwatch user who is texting. A simple tap into the small screen with the message displayed seems to be a fun way to send message t0 your contacts.

pathtalk_wear

Messaging on Android Wear also includes custom actions and layouts you can set, that is, if you know how to add codes to the WearableExtender. Also included is the TextMe features that lets users to reply to messages with a quick emoticon.

For more information on Android Wear messaging service, check out this page.

SOURCE: Android Developers