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Google issues round smartwatch tips to Android Wear developers

Google has issued a number of tips for developers working on apps for round smartwatches as it continues to hasten its Android Wear efforts.

Related: Moto 360 and the future of Android Wear: The key questions explained

A blog post on the Android Developers page explained that various tweaks are made to the square display present on many smartwatches, though the crew explained that it was actually “unbelievably easy”.

“Designing for Android Wear is pretty different from designing for the desktop, phones or tablets. Just like with Glass, you really need to think carefully about the information and actions you present to the user, and even more so about the contexts in which your app will come to the surface,” said Roman Nurik and Timothy Jordan, from the Android Wear team.

The two listed five primary tweaks that were made by them that included scaling up backgrounds to 160x160 dp, bumping up content margins from 12dp on square to 26dp on round, and pushing down circular actions to better vertically centre with the watch frame. They also centre-aligned short snippets of text on round devices, and removed the side padding for context stream cards.

Nurik and Jordan’s changes were demoed on the LG G Watch and Motorola Moto 360 with a walking tour app that both have developed and the Android Design Preview tool was used to help. They also added that in order to truly understand Android Wear, developers must use and ideally live with a real device to enable them to fully understand the complexity of flows, size of touch targets and legibility of text.

Related: Moto 360 and LG G Watch headline Google’s newly launched Android Wear smartwatch lineup

Google launched its Android Wear smartwatch lineup back in March when it showed off the two watches mentioned above and unleashed its interface that it mostly based on swipes and voice control.