Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chai Time: 5 Features that should be brought to Android Wear-Sahen Rai

So about a month ago, I got my hands on a Moto 360 and have loved having it. But as great as Android wear is, there are certainly some things it could do a lot better. With the recentish release of the Apple watch, and with an awesome new update for wear already out, I figured it would be a good time to talk about features that I think could make Wear even better. So here are 5 features that should be brought to Android Wear.

1) Open cards on computer through chrome
This not be a big thing for people who don't use Chrome, but it just makes sense for Google to implement. They're always trying to unify all their platforms as much as possible, and your phone can already interact with chrome quite a bit. It doesn't make sense that you can't just have an extra option on after "Open on Phone" 

to "Open on Chome". 

This wasn't just thrown together in MS paint I swear...

Most of these things are just simple links, how hard would it be to just have said link open in Chome? I realize there's probably a decent amount of coding work involved here for something pretty simple, but I can't imagine it'd be much harder than implementing the "Open on Phone" feature in the first place.

2) Control Powerpoint presentations through Wear

The biggest application I see of wear is in the business world. Where people get notifications all the time, and can justify spending upwards of 200$ on a device that helps them manage those notifications better. You know what else business people do a lot of, POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS. Seriously, I may not be in business (Or even be out of high school) but even I know how business people are portrayed in movies. Running around with briefcases to meetings they're late to present something for. It just makes sense to me that they, and the rest of us, should be able to navigate our presentations with the expensive device on our wrist. One tap = next slide, two taps = back a slide, and so on and so forth.

3) Connect to Chromecast and control volume/music/photo

I was recently given a Chromecast by my brother, who got an Amazon Fire TV and didn't have much of a need for it. Yes I know you already control your chromecast with your phone, and it seems redundant to have it work on your watch. But think about it, you can say that about pretty much anything on Wear. I want to be able to wake up in the morning, put on my watch, and listen to music playing from my TV speakers that I control from the watch. Is that really to much to ask for?

4) Ability to interact with NFC Tags

NFC Tags/Leganerd

NFC tags are an idea that I think is really cool, but I haven't really seen them take off. QR codes are everywhere, posters, magazines, etc...I think one of the reasons the tags haven't taken off, is there aren't enough devices that support them. On phones, they're clunky to use because the NFC reader could be anywhere on the phone. But on a watch they can only really be in one place. Imagine this, you walk into a large department store and see a map. The map has nfc tags for every store, and all you have to do is tap your watch to the display to get directions. Pretty slick right?

5) Use of a Bluetooth mic directly to Wear

There should be a new set of wear programming functions that allow developers to add functionality to their apps that utilize bluetooth headphones. For example, if I answer a call of my Moto 360. I should be able to talk to the person through my headphones directly through the watch rather than through my phone. It just makes more sense, why should I answer the call on my watch and talk on my phone when I can just pick up my phone and answer there. Why can't I use this

Bluetooth Headset/Plantronics

with this?

So there are 5 features that I think should be brought to Android Wear. Have any feature suggestions of your own? Tell me about them on Twitter @masala_tech, and remember to keep things spicy!

By Sahen Rai