Get acquainted with Put on OS 3 (with out a bodily system) | by Ataul Munim | Android Builders | Jul, 2022


Put on OS has modified loads over the past 8 years. It’s snappier, extra environment friendly and contains a wide range of UI surfaces for which you’ll develop.

Whereas strapping a bodily system to your wrist for a number of days is basically the finest solution to get a really feel for what the platform is like these days, it’s not the solely approach. The Put on OS 3 system picture is out there as a preview in Android Studio so, whereas we look forward to our new watches to be delivered 😉, we will nonetheless take a fast tour.

On this article, we’ll take a quick take a look at distinctive UI surfaces on Put on OS, create the emulator and discover it from a consumer perspective, then wrap up.

The watch face is what’s seen 99% of the time. It reveals the time. Watch face designs differ: digital, analog, text-based and even utterly summary.

Watch faces in different styles: some analog with and without any markings, others digital. Some watch faces include additional data around the screen e.g. the date or number of steps taken today.
Watch faces in numerous configurations

Issues are any function on the watch face that’s displayed along with the time, like immediately’s date, the climate outdoors, or the variety of steps you’ve taken immediately. They permit customers to get data and full actions within the quickest approach attainable on Put on OS.

Tiles from 4 totally different apps

Tiles are full-screen surfaces which current data from a single app at a look. With a easy swipe from the watch face, you can begin a exercise, bounce to a message, or see particulars for the most recent forecast, the place every subsequent swipe permits you to view the subsequent tile. These are supposed to be very predictable, and in addition extremely glanceable, like problems.

A list of chips representing different conversations, with “start chat” as the first chip. The second screen shows a single conversation with messages in different colored chips for the sender and recipient.
Screens from the Messages app overlay

Overlays are just like what you may contemplate a standard app expertise. Whereas each problems and tiles are fairly comparable (glanceable information and fast actions), overlays present interactive, scrollable views which permit customers to finish duties which can be too complicated for the opposite surfaces.

There have been a number of necessary UI adjustments for Put on emulators in Android Studio Dolphin. We’ll be utilizing that model for this digital tour.

Firstly, the UI has been up to date to mirror the buttons and gestures obtainable on a Put on OS system. Right here, as an alternative of the mobile-centric “again”, “dwelling” and “recents” buttons, we’ve bought Button 1 and a couple of, and the gestures for protecting the display along with your palm or tilting your wrist.

The first five icons from the row: a back arrow, a button icon with the number 1, a button icon with the number 2, a watch with a hand over it, and a watch with a rotating arrow.
From left to proper: Again, Button 1, Button 2, Palm, Tilt

Dolphin additionally contains new run configurations to permit launching watch faces, tiles and problems immediately from the IDE, making it quicker to run and check:

Screenshot of Android Studio focused on the run configuration dropdown with “Messaging Tile” selected, and “wear large round 30” selected in the device dropdown.
You possibly can choose tiles and problems immediately from the run configuration dropdown to launch them immediately

Create an emulator utilizing the Gadget Supervisor in Android Studio.

Device Manager window from Android Studio. There is a “create device” button available. Shows two devices: Wear Large Round 30 and Wear Small Round 30, with attributes displayed in a table.
Right here’s some I made earlier

Choose the Put on OS class and select one of many system definitions. On the system picture display, make sure to choose the API 30/Android 11/Put on OS 3 goal and end.

As soon as the system begins, you’ll see the watch face. Alongside the highest of the emulator pane, discover the row of buttons which assist with among the extra frequent interactions.

Emulator pane in Android Studio showing a running Wear OS emulator. There’s a series of buttons along the top left corner.

Let’s take a look at every of the emulator buttons in flip:

  • Again: commonplace Android system again button. You may as well swipe from the left fringe of the display to the correct, for a similar perform.
  • Button 1: reveals the app launcher which incorporates current apps.
  • Button 2: navigates to the watch face/tiles display.
  • Palm: simulates the consumer protecting the display with their palm, which turns the display off (ambient-mode).
  • Tilt: simulates the consumer tilting their watch in the direction of themselves, which wakes the display.

I like to recommend utilizing the arrow keys in your keyboard to navigate via lists and menus, utilizing Enter to pick out.

Quick settings panel is pulled down from the top of the screen
Accessing Settings from the Fast Settings panel

You possibly can entry the Fast Settings panel by swiping down from the highest, and from there click on via to Settings. There are two timeouts price altering to the best values you’ll be able to:

  • Show > Display timeout > 30 seconds (associated bug)
  • Show > Go to look at face > After 5 min.

Watch faces

There are two modes for this display: lively and ambient. Utilizing the Palm button will swap the display “off”, displaying the watch face in ambient mode. Urgent the Tilt button will swap the display again “on”.

watch face transitions between active and ambient mode. In ambient mode, fills turn to strokes, the number of elements are reduced, moving elements (e.g. second hand) are removed.
A watch face transitioning between lively and ambient mode

In ambient mode, be aware how the display dims and the second-hand disappears. This can be a low-power mode which updates as sometimes as attainable.

Choose a brand new watch face for the emulator by long-pressing on the watch face, away from complication areas, and away from the sides — like on the arms:

Long press on center of the watch face hands opens the watch face selector. Then swiping across swaps between available watch faces.

That is additionally the place you’ll be able to configure problems.


Watch faces are answerable for rendering problems, in order that’s why we will select them from the watch face configuration. Right here’s how we will change the complication from displaying the date to displaying the battery degree:

Long pressing on the center of the watch face to open the configuration. Then tapping on the edit button at the bottom which opens the watch face configuration activity. from here, tap data and then tap the complication for which we want to change the source, then we select a new source from the list of complications.
Altering the complication knowledge supply

In case your app offers complication knowledge, it’ll be selectable from that record too, and the watch face will resolve (based mostly on the complication knowledge sort) how one can current this.


Tiles are accessible from the watch face by swiping. Lengthy-pressing a tile permits you to edit them.

Swiping from the watch face to navigate through different tiles. Long pressing a tile starts edit mode, and we can swipe a tile up to remove it, and there’s an add button at the bottom to add a new one.
Navigating to and modifying tiles

Swipe as much as take away a tile, use the arrows to reorder them, or press the + button so as to add a brand new one.

In case your app features a tile, you’ll be capable to add it from right here; it gained’t routinely be added to the carousel simply because the app is put in.


Notifications on the emulator are additionally obtainable by swiping from the watch face; begin on the underside edge and swipe up.

pulling the notifications panel up from the bottom of the watch face. there’s a scrolling list of notifications with a “clear all” button at the end.

App launcher

Put on OS options an app launcher too. Press Button 1 to see a listing of put in apps, preceded by not too long ago used apps.

the app launcher appears showing a “recent” header and some apps, followed by “all” header and all apps in alphabetical order.


Opening an app’s overlay may be achieved from any of the above surfaces. Whereas utilizing the app launcher is basically frequent on cellular, often used apps will doubtless be opened from a complication or tile.

From the app launcher, tap Settings which opens the Settings overlay. Then tap Connectivity which opens a new screen in the overlay. Then using the back gesture to dismiss these screens in turn.

In an overlay, navigation is as-expected. Click on on issues, scroll lists, and use the again gesture or button to navigate again.

Now you’re acquainted with Put on OS typically, it’s time to dive in! Take a look at this codelab on Compose for Put on OS to be taught extra about growing for Put on immediately.

Whereas it’s attainable to make use of the emulator for lots of testing and improvement, make sure to check your apps on a bodily system earlier than launching to customers so that you measure issues like energy consumption, interactions and habits in real-world conditions too.

Let me know when you have any suggestions, feedback or questions both right here as a response or you’ll find me on Twitter, @ataulm.



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