Design advocate Roman Nurik is somewhat of a favourite of Android users, releasing Dashclock and Muzei and inspiring others to release great, well designed apps. Now, he’s released a new app called FORM Watch Face, and it’s not just your usual Android Wear watchface (though it can be), it can also show off a bit about using other Android apps to achieve a fantastic end result.
Roman has taken to Medium to explain a bit about how, as Roman puts it, ‘Android lets you mash apps together. When you do, cool things start to happen’. The FORM Watch Face is an Android Wear watch face at its core, based on the FORM typeface that Roman and the team created for the FORM 2014 conference – a conference about design. As a watch face, FORM isn’t bad, if a little illegible if you stare at it long enough, but at a glance it’s pretty good.
The cool part of FORM is the ability to use plugins, a feature that Roman utilised to great effect with Dashclock and Muzei, letting others build on his work. It’s best shown off using the end result and then working backwards, with Roman showing this example:
The picture is a result of mashing up five, yes five Android apps (ok, APKs), though as Roman says, none of them are aware of the other. The apps use a bit of configuration to get the end result, but this is Android – we LOVE playing with our phones (watches too) and getting something a bit custom.
- The FORM watch face app, installed on the watch. It gets the latest Muzei artwork using the content provider described in #3 below.
- The FORM watch face configuration app, installed on the phone. There’s no icon for it in the app launcher, but if you press the settings cog for FORM inside the Android Wear app on the phone, this is the app you’ll see. It lets you change the watch face theme from your phone, communicating changes to the watch over Bluetooth.
- The Muzei watch app (built by the amazing Ian Lake), which contains a content provider that exposes the latest Muzei artwork to other apps on the watch, along with a very simple additional Muzei watch face.
- The Muzei phone app, which provides a wallpaper for your phone, and sends a downscaled version of the latest artwork to the Muzei watch app over Bluetooth. Like the watch app, it also offers a content provider exposing the latest artwork to other apps on the phone.
- The Muzei HD Landscapes art source, one of many art sources for Muzei available on Google Play and built with the Muzei Art Source API.