You've probably heard about Android Wear by now, but it still presents some questions for Android developers not yet fully invested in wearables. For example, how does one transition from mobile Android development to Android Wear? One option that makes a lot of sense is to work with existing Android apps that you've already developed, which Ivan Kocijan suggests in this recent post on Infinum.
He provides a four-step walkthrough, in fact, of how an existing app - Erste & Steiermärkische Bank's queuing app - can be easily updated from an Android mobile version to Android Wear. It looks pretty cool:
Most of Kocijan's process revolves around altering notifications - they are central to the functionality of this app, after all - so that they are more friendly to the wearable. Even small changes do a lot to illustrate the way UX concerns change between devices. After adding a few new notifications, adding a broadcast receiver class, and updating the manifest, Kocijan has done most of what needs to be done - fairly straightforward.
He also addresses the question that might be nagging those Android developers who are interested in wearables but not yet committed to the idea: do enough people even use them to make the effort worthwhile? According to Kocijan, it's all about foresight:
That's a valid concern, especially when we know that the current generation of smartwatches costs between $200 and $300.
But like with any other technology, the price of Android Wear devices will go down and they will become more widespread. Making sure your app supports this innovative technology is a smart investment for the future.
Check out the full article for a look at how to update an existing Android app for a wearable device, both in terms of basic functionality and device-tailored UX design.