A recent APK teardown carried out by 9to5Google hints at an addition of a new screen recording feature in Google's Wear OS for smartwatches. For those unaware about what an APK teardown is, it is a test of underlying code consisting of oddments of code relating to the feature, which are work in progress. This teardown was performed to test this screen recording feature for the smartwatches.
Honestly Google Didn't Really Make The Cut, In The First Place
The wearable smartwatches are not an extremely useful or impressive piece of gadget and their offered services are often limited. They are mostly affordable fitness trackers running on custom OS. When it comes to the premium ones, Apple is the market ruler, whereas Xiaomi and other companies offer various other budget friendly similar options. Google has not yet managed to grab a strong foothold in the wearable smartwatch economy.
Google's Wear OS though seemed very promising, as Android powers almost every smartphone out there, but it failed; mostly because these watches more than often function on dated hardware resulting in poor user experience, poor battery life and lack of interest shown by OEMs .
Introducing new features just for the sake of it, having no practical feasibility or adding no user-friendly purpose to enhance the experience, cannot be deemed as a development. Wear OS already allows users to take screen shots and share the same. Also, every Wear OS has their relevant android app on the smart phone that it is connected with and all the data are already present on the app to be seen or taken an easy screen shot from. Recording and sharing of the same does not seem to add any more value to it.
You Can Already Take A Screenshot, Why Screen Recording Then?
To take a screen shot from the Wear OS app on Android the user has to simply chose the "Take screenshot of watch" from the menu in the top-right corner and then a notification arrives on the phone, opening the system Share sheet. A trio of strings featured in Wear OS 18.104.22.1686582426 shows a similar action for watch screen recording and sharing the same via email.
The teardown performed by 9to5Google of the Wear OS 22.214.171.1246582426 does not reveal much information about the length of the recording or any other valuable information. When the necessary changes take place, the users hopefully are able to capture short snippets or videos from their wearables and then share them. As of now, as it still in its development stage. Google refuses to give away any more detail regarding the same. Only detail that is available is about sharing the recording through email.
Also the appearance of the whole screen record functionality of the watch at a technical level is still a myth. A broader system update or a new version of the on-watch Wear OS component would be required for its appropriate appearance on the watch.
The ambiguity regarding this new Wear OS feature leads to questionable future for its release to the users.
For now, it seems to remain only a developer-only feature. Especially for developers working remotely in the COVID 19 pandemic situation, the tool could prove more useful than it seems for other users. It would allow more precise design of watch faces and watch face apps and also easy representation of watch faces and sharing of the same.