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Wear OS watches get custom panels

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 Wear OS watches get custom panels

Google announced that developers can create custom panels for Wear OS watches, and said: It allows developers to customize panels via smart watches operating with its operating system.

Wear OS watches get custom panels

The search giant initially released the feature panels in 2019 as a way for users to see information at a glance via the Quick Access interface, but it was limited to Google apps or device manufacturers' apps only.

These custom panels should become available to users this spring when Google releases the base Wear OS update, the company said.

Google said: Panels can be designed for many use cases, such as tracking the progress of a user's daily activity, quickly starting an exercise, starting a newly played song, or sending a message to a favorite contact.

She added: Although applications can be immersive, the panels are quick to load and focus on the user's immediate needs, and if the user wishes to get more information, they can click on the panel to open the related application via the watch or phone for a deeper experience.

Developers can start creating their first panels via Android Studio as part of their Wear OS application, and Google said: You can start by adding Wear OS panels.

Google also shared a list of best practices for creating panels for Wear OS:

  • Show only the most important content with a clear information hierarchy, because panels are intended for obtaining information that users can read in a matter of seconds.
  • Avoid items that frequently require replay to protect user's battery.
  • Maintain the highly interactive experiences of your activities, however, you can relate to these activities through the board.
  • Avoid texting past or future events as this requires frequent updates, and instead display the actual start or end time.
  • Avoid prolonged asynchronous work when providing board layout or resources, and board code should be executed quickly.
  • Consider allowing the user to click on the board to learn more and take action, as there is support for rich interaction and the user can scroll for more information.
  • If you have a large app that supports the user with multitasking, consider creating a board for each task, and for example, a fitness app might have a goal board and an exercise activity board.

In the past, developers were able to create panels successfully through an unofficial API, but relying on an unofficial API is a risky business.

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