Freitag, 13. März 2015

Wear Network Notifications: My first Android Wear App

After owning a Android Wear device (more specific: a LG G Watch R) for some months now, I finally started my first little Wear project! It's a small app called "Wear Network Notifications" and it's available for free on Google Play (and GitHub) as of today ;)

Wear Network Notifications

Around three weeks ago my dad asked me if there is any app for his LG G Watch that would show him the current connectivity of his phone. Just so that he knows, e.g. while driving, if he could receive phone calls and emails at the moment. I searched the Google Play store and didn't find a sufficient solution for his problem. And indeed I always wanted to know if my Nexus 5 is currently using the wifi network or eats up my cellular data^^ So I started this project!

Wear Network Notifications (or just 'WNN') will notify you on events related to the network connection of your phone. For example, if you loose the connection to your home wifi you will get a notification that you are now connected to cellular network and using mobile data. It will also show you the current signal strength of the network as well as its name and update those values every time the screen of the watch is turned on.

WNN is highly customizable so that specific notifications can be deactivated or vibration can be switched off. I focused on a very battery friendly solution and that's why the notification won't be updated periodically. It will perform updates in a smart way every time you turn on your watches screen (e.g. by tilting your arm) which will trigger a Broadcast event. By using this technique the watch will show you the latest signal strength measurements every time you actually look at it and else saves your battery (both the watch and the phone battery).

As a bonus, it will also notify you if your watch looses the Bluetooth connection to the phone. This is exactly what all the 'Did you forget your phone?'-apps are doing and therefore you won't need those apps any more.

Wear Network Notifications is open source software released under the GNU General Public License v2 and you can download the source code on GitHub:

It is also available for free download on the Google Play platform:

If you want to see a quick demonstration of WNN you should watch this video:

Give it a try and tell me what you think! If you find some bugs or if you want to request more features just open an issue on GitHub:

And if you like the app, I would really appreciate a small donation ;)

Android Wear (my Opinion)

Now I have to write some more words about my opinion about Android Wear.

I always knew that I would buy an Android Watch sooner or later. I like Android and developing on this platform and I always preferred functional watches over expensive and stylish ones. Now that I have lived with my LG watch for about 4 months I would say that Android Wear is awesome but still has a long way to go. It could offer much more features and I'm very confident that Google will add those very soon (especially because at the moment we have a heavy battle on the wearable OS market with Apple joining the game in April).

From the developer point of view it is also clearly recognisable that Android Wear is a new OS with lots of annoying bugs still in there. Just to give an example, I work on a second Wear app in parallel. It is a guitar tuner for the watch. While developing on this app I witnessed a bug that will render SurfaceViews all black if the SurfaceView is screen filling (here is the link to the issue: It took me days to find a work-around for this one -.- And there are more..

But I think this is how it is with a new system. I'm definitely looking forward to the next versions of Android Wear!