Book Image

Android Wear Projects

By : Ashok Kumar S
Book Image

Android Wear Projects

By: Ashok Kumar S

Overview of this book

Android Wear Projects is your opportunity to step into the exciting new world of Android Wear app development. This book will help you to master the skills in Android Wear programming and give you a complete insight on wear app development. You will create five different Android Wear apps just like the most popular Android Wear apps. You will create a To-do list, a city maps app, a Wear messenger, Wear fitness tracker and Watch face. While you create these apps you will learn to create custom notifications, receive voice inputs in notifications, add pages to notifications and stack notifications. You will see how to create custom wear app layouts, the custom UIs specially designed for Wear. You will learn to handle and manage data and syncing data with other devices, create interactive Watch faces and also ensure the safety and security of your Wear apps by testing and securing your apps before you deploy them on the app store.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewers
Customer Feedback
Let us Help Capture What is on Your Mind - WearRecyclerView and More
Let us Help Capture What is on Your Mind - Saving Data and Customizing the UI
Measuring Your Wellness and Syncing Collected Sensor Data
Let us Chat in a Smart Way - Notifications and More

Creating your first Android Wear application

In this section, let's understand the steps required to create your first Wear project.


Before you continue to create your application, ensure you have one complete version of Android installed with a Wear system image and you have the latest version of Android Studio.

The following picture is the initial interface of Android Studio. In this window, one can import legacy ADT Android projects, configure the Android SDK, and update Android Studio.

Android Studio welcome window with basic controls for getting started:

Creating your first Wear project

Click on the Start a new Android Studio project option in the Android Studio window. You will be prompted by another with project details.

The following screenshot shows the window that allows users to configure their project details, such as project name, Package name, and whether the project needs native C++ support:

You can name your project as you wish. After you have chosen your project name and your project local system location, you can press the Next button in the window, which brings up another window with a few queries, as shown in the following screenshot:

In this window, you can choose to write a standalone Wear application if you uncheck the Phone and Tablet option. In way, you will see only Wear application templates:

Now, Android Studio templates prompt only Android Wear activity templates with the following set of options:

  • Add No Activity
  • Always On Wear Activity
  • Blank Wear Activity
  • Display Notification
  • Google Maps Wear Activity
  • Watch Face

The activity template helps you to access the default boilerplate codes, which are already templatized and can be used directly in projects:

To create the first project, we will choose Blank Wear Activity and click on the Next button in the window. Android Studio will prompt another window for creating the name of the activity and layout file. In this template, the two form factors of Android Wearable devices, which are mostly round and square shapes, are with the boilerplate code stub:

When your project is ready to be created, click on the Finish button. After clicking on Finish, Android Studio will take a few moments to create the project for us.

Way to go! You have now created a working boilerplate code for the Android Wear standalone application without the phone companion application. When successfully created, you will see the following files and codes to your project by default:

If your SDK is not updated with API level 25, you might see the Wear option in the Android Studio project creating prompts with Android Wear support library 1.x; you can update this in the Wear module Gradle file with the following dependency:

compile ''

Creating a Wear emulator

The process of a Wear emulator is very to creating a phone emulator.

In the AVD manager, click on the Create Virtual Device... button:

Choose the required form factor emulator according to your application needs. Now, let's create the Android Wear square emulator:

After selecting the right emulator for your Wear, you will get another prompt to choose the Wear operating system. Let's the API Level 25Nougat emulator, as in the following screenshot:

The last prompt asks for the emulator name and other orientation configurations based on your needs:

Way to go! Now, we have successfully created a square form emulator for the project. Let's run the project that we have in the emulator:

Google recommends developing Wear apps in the actual hardware device to have the best user experience. However, working on emulators has the benefit of creating different screen form factors to check the application's rendering.

Working with actual Wear device
  1. Open the settings on the Wear device
  2. Go to About device
  3. Click on the build number seven times to enable developer mode
  4. Now enable ADB debugging on the watch

You can now connect the Wear device directly to your machine with the USB cable. You can debug your applications over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with the following setups.

Debugging over Wi-Fi

Make sure your watch has the options enabled. Debugging over Wi-Fi is possible only when the Wear device and machine are connected to the same network.

  • In the Wear device developer option, tap on Debug over Wi-Fi
  • The watch will display its IP address (for example, Keep a reference; we need this for the next step.
  • Connect the debugger to the device
  • Using the following command, we can attach the actual device to the ADB debugger:
adb connect
Enable Bluetooth debugging

We need to ensure debugging is in developer options, as follows:

  • Enable Debug over Bluetooth
    • Install the companion app on the phone (download it from
  • Go to settings in the companion app
  • Enable debugging over Bluetooth
  • Connect the phone to the machine through the cable
  • You can use the following commands to establish the connection:
adb forward tcp:4444 localabstract:/adb-hub
adb connect

In your Android Wear, just allow ADB Debugging when it asks.

Now that we have a working setup of our development environment, let's understand the basic Android Wear-specific UI components.