Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Darrell Caldwell
Darrell Caldwell's posts

Love this watch face and it's substantial configuration options! One question - is it possible for the complications to be translucent so the background pic looks better? If not then would love to suggest for a future update. And thanks again for this wonder watch face! 

I've given a lot of thought (as I'm sure many of us have) to the proposed model for app installs for Wear 2.0 and its pitfalls (such as screen size and battery life using the watch as the browsing client for the PlayStore, tedious repetition for those owners of multiple Android Wear watches and multiple versions of the OS, the still unresolved way to handle required companion Phone app install, and so on).
An easy, smooth experience for everyone would be to keep the Watch Play Store client of course, but to also Build on the familiar rather than forcing everyone to this completely alien, confusing and tedious new Watch centric model. It also keeps things happy for those with a mix of 1.x and 2.0 watches. I have 3 watches and I certainly don't intend on pitching my Moto 360 1st gen just because it can't be updated to 2.0 like my Urbane and Huawei. But I also find the idea of having to install apps for the 360 one way, and then having to install the ones on my Huawei and Urbane a completely different way and having to repeat this process on each Watch individually! Not to mention the changeover as I may not update my Urbane right away until I'm certain all the 2.0 bugs are under control. Anyone who has given this more than a seconds thought has to realize how ridiculous it is to expect this of users, especially the less savvy ones with different watches for the gym, work and going out socially who don't even get into the geeky OS version details and just like their gym watch, their metal link work watch, etc. They will not bother with such a hassle and losing users is certainly not want Google or Developers want.
Also, It is not just current Android Wear Users we have to consider, but those who will hopefully be moving to Wear from other platforms which also use the Phone as the Manager of the Watch/Fitness Tracker/whatever it may be. Thus the current Wear methodology of having the Android Wear App on the phone controlling the watch app installs is familiar to those who use other platforms, thus Baby steps are the way to go here, not frustrating someone into returning their Wear watch after a couple days because the experience is so jarring to them.
For existing Wear Users this also makes the transition to 2.0 much easier to deal with. 2.0 is a MASSIVE change to the familiar. People will be frustrated enough with dismissing notifications when they swipe right to get more options as they are USED to doing and finding there's no rescue timer to Undo that action. Which means pull your phone out. I still do this sometimes and I have been using 2.0 since it was introduced. Do not underestimate the extreme frustration long time users are going to have adjusting to the new system. This is even more of a concern IMO than new users and something I have not seen given the slightest consideration in any documentation.

The User Experience for installing a new app remains essentially unchanged if they do it as they always have. So a user browses the PlayStore and finds an app, buys/downloads it just as they always have. The only difference is the dialog box that used to pop as the installation begins that stated the app would appear on the watch shortly is now a smart front end for the app Manager from the PlayStore.
The dialog displays a checklist of each phone and watch that the current Google Account is associated with.
Phone: If there is a Phone application that is optional, the checkbox can be unchecked, with a message that "for optimal app results, please install the phone side app". If the Phone app is required, the checkbox is grayed out. If it is a Wear-only app, no phone appears.
All the watches partnered with that phone (or that are activated with the current Google Account for the 2.0 model) are listed with checkboxes, Watch model name and icon or small thumbnail of each watch from the Wear app database to assist users in properly differentiating models.
If the user does not wish to install the App to certain watches, they simply uncheck the watch (or watches).
If the watch OS is not compatible with the Wear apk version present, it is grayed out with a *not compatible with this app notice (if the Phone partnership has only incompatible Watch models, it will notify the user before the App is even purchased/downloaded with instructions to either upgrade the watch OS or consider a new model).
The user then taps Next to begin the installation. The process is quick, clean and efficient while offering the user control of what Watch gets the app.
Thus Android users can install apps to their Watch using the Web Play Store client, the Watch Play Store client, or the familiar Wear App on their phone. This also keeps the experience familiar to those coming to Android Wear from other competing platforms that all use the Phone as the main management device. I feel this aspect is important as People will return something if they can't quickly figure out how to use it. By maintaining this familiar approach, 1.x users have a smoother upgrade experience as well as visitors from other platforms who will hopefully stay, and find the power user options as they grow into their new device.

Additionally, here are a few other suggestions:
1. Because the watch battery drains so fast with constant use, please consider making the % charged screen while the charger is attached only visible when the watch is not being used (like a screen saver on a laptop). This would allow users to browse the Play Store on their watch and manage apps, etc while connected to the charger so they haven't drained 30% of their battery downloading a couple new apps. When the watch is no longer being moved/used, the Charging Screen should take over as normal.
2. The Watch Play Store Client should have the option of auto installing to other watches as well, even if it is an option buried in settings that has to be turned on by power users. Many of us own multiple Watches - I own 3 myself -and requiring the user to repeat the same process x Times is extremely annoying and frustratingly unnecessary! So please PLEASE allow using the phone to browse and download apps to the watches just like 1.x as well as the Watch and Web Play Store client.

Wait while more posts are being loaded