Google is encouraging developers to build more apps w/ Pixel Watch unveiled

Following up on Samsung’s adoption last year, the upcoming Pixel Watch launch will serve as the next biggest catalyst for Wear OS as an app platform, and Google is clearly doing the same.

Following the launch of the Pixel Watch, the Android Developers Blog published a post highlighting the wearable and — to a lesser extent — the Pixel Tablet. The Android dev team explicitly stated that “this is an especially great time to get your app ready so it looks great on all the new watches that consumers will get their hands on over the holidays.”

It’s a clear message, and something that Apple does annually during WWDC and launches with new features for the following hardware developers to adopt. However, this is a new one for Google that shows a tighter messaging integration between the hardware and the team responsible for the OS and development platform. It’s clearly a reciprocal relationship that makes Google hardware more feature-rich, while the software experience encourages equal interest. Meanwhile, the Android team did something similar with Samsung’s recent launch.

Google’s overview states that the Pixel Watch “includes the latest updates to the platform, Wear OS 3.5” and points to app development tools such as Compose for Wear OS and the Tiles material library, with modern design being a heavy incentive. The Android Studio Dolphin update is also highlighted, along with improved testing experiences for watch faces, tiles, and complexity.

There is also a case study by Todoist. Installation growth rate with Tasks app increases by 50% after a complete wearable rebuild leveraging Compose for Savior OS.

The central focus of the overhaul is to upgrade all screens and interactions to the latest . Had to redesign to make it in line with Material Design for Wear OS. Using Write for Wear OS, Todoist developers moved away from the wearable drawer layout in favor of a flatter app structure.

old vs new

Another shared developer stat thus “OutdoorActive found that using Compose for Wear OS cut their team’s development time by 30%.”

Google’s final message is “how updates and improvements from Wear OS and Google Pixel Watch make the individual app experience more tangible. Apps are using those capabilities to excite and delight users and so can you.”

“There is also a nascent push to get started with another exciting form factor coming to the Pixel ecosystem, the Google Pixel tablet, by optimizing your app for tablets!” The fine print amusingly notes how:

“The Google Pixel tablet is not authorized in accordance with the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission or other regulators. This device may not be sold or otherwise distributed until necessary legal authorization is obtained.”

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