It looks like Microsoft’s smartwatch project is good few years away, with the company launching a new keyboard for Android Wear. This is after Satya Nadella cancelled all of Nokia’s Android devices, looking to keep the focus on Windows Phone.
The Android Wear keyboard will let users write the letters, numbers and symbols, in order to create messages. Perhaps not the most efficient way, but then again this is a 1.5-inch display we are talking about – nothing is going to be efficient.
Microsoft has designed the keyboard to be used by people who want to message, without having to pull their phone out. This will only be for short messages, where the person can write out the sentence without their hands hurting.
The keyboard currently supports displays over 320 x 320 and the Moto 360. This is the first major keyboard on Android Wear, following Google’s decision to remove the keyboard, in favor of voice gestures and replies.
Microsoft believes that gestures and predictive text will win over voice recognition on Android Wear. The ease-of-use and understanding of writing messages should be enough for users right now to make the switch.
Voice replies and recognition appears to not be working well for Google, with low numbers of messages sent from Android Wear. The platform is still in its early days, but we worry that Google is banking too heavily on voice recognition becoming the norm.
We see the same sort of over-enthusiasm from Google on Glass, where almost everything is control through voice.
This is not Microsoft’s first attempt at Android Wear. The OneNote app has been ported onto the smartwatch UI, allowing users to take notes from their watch. It is another intuitive app, if not a little bland on the creativity side.