Friday, March 20, 2015

Tesla App designers prefer Android Wear over Apple Watch


Apple may be trying to attack a niche portion of the wearable market by creating a more “premium” option, but premium hardware doesn’t always equate to blissful software. The developers of the Tesla app for the Apple Watch found that out in their latest project.

According to them, Google approached Tesla to create an app for Android Wear after seeing they’d done one for the Apple Watch. They accepted Google’s challenge, and more than just create a beautiful app for which to control your Tesla smart car, they laid out a wealth of impressions about the development experience and differences between the two platforms.

Here’s a spoiler for you: they like Android Wear. A lot. Their love for it comes from the fact that it’s a much more open platform to work with compared to Apple Watch. Where Apple limits developers on API access and low-level device integration, Tesla found it refreshing that Android Wear gave them nearly everything they needed.


Perhaps their most favorite thing was being able to experiment with unique user interface tricks — apparently things are quite restricted in that regard on iOS. They also wondered how the Apple Watch could only manage 18 hours of battery life on such a limited platform compared to 2 hours on many of the smart watches that run Android Wear.

Things weren’t all peachy for the Tesla team on Android Wear. Here are a few complaints they had:

  • Voice activation is too slow of a process. Their suggestion to Google is to allow developers control over the command after the initial “OK Google” to cut down on the 2-3 second pauses needed between each part of the command.

  • While better than the Apple Watch, battery life could still be improved. They love Pebble in that regard.

  • Thin documentation — not a knock on the platform itself, but certainly something that can mar the development experience.

But even with all that, they believe Google has done a fine job with Android Wear and can’t wait to see where it goes from here on out. Be sure to read their full thoughts on Android Wear development and what went into the new Tesla app over at Eleks Lab.

from Phandroid

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