July 5, 2014 By: Samantha
Sony jumped into the pool relatively early when it comes to smart watches and wearables. With a history extending back to 2010 with the LiveView, it was not until the SmartWatch 2 that Sony had a rather solid offering with plenty of customization and aftermarket flexibility. If you have one of these devices strapped on your wrist right now, or want to get some development experience with wearables, you’ll certainly want to check out XDA Senior Member naheel azawy‘s tutorial on creating your own watch faces for the SmartWatch 2.
Naheel azawy keeps the tutorial brief and simple, without skimping out on thoroughness. Each individual step is clearly labelled and, if appropriate or needed, is accompanied by helpful screenshots going through the process. The tutorial also teaches a couple of additional tricks if you choose to incorporate them into your watch face, such as adding a date, reordering your watch faces, and having multiple watch faces in one app. Naheel azawy provides all the links to the resources you need to get started, such as Eclipse, the Android and Sony SDKs, and a resource package.
Naheel azawy’s tutorial is definitely a great starting point for both beginners and the experienced alike looking to get started on making their own watch faces for the SmartWatch 2. So if this has piqued your interests, put on your creative hat on and head over to the original thread to get started.
May 30, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
2014 is certainly shaping up to be the year of the wearables. And as we saw at CES this past year, there are several fantastic smartwatch options on the horizon. But while many Android fans are eagerly awaiting Android Wear, many more have already entered the smartwatch world by way of existing devices like the Sony SmartWatch 2.
About a month ago, Sony added the ability for end users to customize the watch face on their Sony SmartWatch 2. This is done using the SmartConnect app on a connected Android device. From there, users select from various clock types and widgets, and arrange them across the screen. But while this added significant flexibility to the end user, this was essentially a closed system, whereby only Sony-created watch faces and widgets were accessible. Now, however, Sony has opened up the SmartWatch Widget API to allow third party app developers to create their own custom clocks and widgets that reside among the first party Sony offerings. This new Widget API comes as a subset of the Control API, which is a part of Sony’s Smart Extension APIs, and all of this is available through Sony’s Add-On SDK.
So how do third party app developers get in on this and create their own clock faces and widgets that can run on the SmartWatch 2? The folks at Sony wrote a handy tutorial that covers all of the basics, including sample code, and common considerations. The guide can be found over at Sony Developer World.
This new API may prove quite helpful to the SmartWatch 2 software ecosystem, and in turn greatly benefit both developers and end-users. Are you a third party developer interested in creating for the SmartWatch 2, or are you an end-user looking forward to new clock faces and widgets enabled by the Widget API? Let us know in the comments below!
For many, Tasker is a big part of their smartphone or smart-gadget experience, offering the flexibility to perform a wide range of tasks with simplicity and ease. In fact, it’s usefulness and practicality has been covered numerous times on the XDA Portal and video series.
With this in mind, it’s obvious that the next logical step in the Tasker journey is integration with the smartwatch world. This is especially true, considering the increasing amount of rumours in the past year of big OEMs working on ‘the next big thing,’ and with Sony and Samsung both releasing their own take on the wearable device concept, namely the Sony Smartwatch 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
One example of this is the Tasker extension for the Sony Smartwatch 2 developed by XDA Forum Member babanomania. Once installed on your connected phone or tablet, the app allows you to conveniently see the Tasker tasks you have on your device, as well as execute them with only a couple simple swipes and taps—very useful, especially when on a watch. The extension is open source as well, so you can tinker with it if you feel the extension is missing something.
If you would like to give this a whirl, check out the original thread for more information.
September 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re a developer looking to target the Sony Xperia Z1 or Sony SmartWatch 2, the latest version of Sony’s Add-on SDK will undoubtedly be of interest. While having device-specific features inherently brings a set of pros and cons, it’s hard to argue with the fact that doing so uniquely tailors the software to work well with the hardware. Sony recently unveiled the second version of its Add-on SDK, which adds support for the new Sony SmartWatch 2 and the new Camera Add-on API.
The new capabilities for the SmartWatch 2 allow users to specify layouts to be displayed on the watch like they would be specified on Android. This also enables smoother scrolling than before in Gallery and ListView. You are also able to specify menus to be displayed on the device, as well as access the compass and light sensor.
The new Camera Add-on API allows you to tailor your camera app to make it accessible directly from the Xperia Z1’s “Smart Social Camera.” Doing this, the app gains additional visibility and integration from within the standard camera interface. Furthermore, developers can use the API to integrate the Xperia Z1’s camera features and modes into their own apps. This allows third party camera apps to work particularly well with the device’s camera.
To learn more, head over to the Sony Development Blog post detailing the v2 SDK. From there, also visit the posts below to use the new APIs:
June 14, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Sony now allows you to install custom firmware on your Smartwatch device. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about Daniel Nazer speaking at XDA:DevCon 2013 and news about the contest. Additionally, the Paranoid Android team has open sourced HALO.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin gave us video on USB On-The-Go, AdamOutler and friend shows us how to develop for the Google ADK, and TK does an App Review of Hi App Lock. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
It seems that smartwatches are all the rage these days. From Pebble to Metawatch to I’m Watch, there are no shortages of smartwatch devices out there. And if the rumor mill is to be believed, there are more to come from the big players. The Sony Smartwatch was one of the original options, starting back in early 2012, and has continued to be a force with their Smart Extensions APIs being available and a large number of apps out there on the Google Play Store. However, in comparison to the Metawatch, the Sony Smartwatch lacks one thing: hackability.
On Sony’s Developer World portal they announced today that they are opening up the Smartwatch to allow for custom firmware to be used with their new “Open SmartWatch Project“. By doing this, they are essentially allowing the developer to create their own implementations of the stock firmware—much like all the custom ROMs available already here on XDA. The custom firmware is flashed using the DFU utility (Device Firmware Upgrade), and Sony has even made a SmartWatch Hacker Guide available that lists the specific reference information needed to start developing your own firmware.
Make sure to visit their announcement for more information, and also check out their upcoming SmartWatch Arduino Hackathon.