Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

“Glanceable” Android Wear

Liz Stinson, Wired:

Android Wear’s banner claim is that its interface will free us from the time sucking grid of icons on our smartphones. Instead, the interface will be glanceable; requiring users to engage far less time and attention to get the information they’re looking for.

I wonder if Google will stand behind this claim in a similar way to Microsoft’s “Smoked by Windows Phone” competitions. I just tried a few of the things on my iPhone that are purportedly made faster by a wearable device — checking the weather, upcoming transit times, next calendar appointment, and so forth — and I spent no more than five seconds on even the longest task (checking transit times involved unlocking my phone, opening Transit, and waiting for it to load). I imagine this could be even quicker on an Android phone that has a well-learned Google Now.

I don’t doubt that there are uses for wearable devices. All the wearables I’ve seen so far fall into two categories: pure fitness devices, and secondary notification screens. The former are more focused, easier to understand, and feel more valuable as a result. Is it any wonder that the latter category hasn’t really taken off, but fitness wearables are pretty popular?