360dialog Team

Android Wear 2.0, Google’s smartwatch OS, just got a big update. The improvements will not only benefit Android smartwatch users but app publishers as well. Think product owners and CRM teams. The use of smartwatches has really focused around fitness tracking, watch faces and widgets, displaying bits of information like the weather, messaging, and notifications. Let’s talk about notifications in Android Wear 2.0.


A Fresh New Look & Valuable Features

Android Wear 2.0 delivers a number of refinements: standalone apps, a new UI, Google Assistant, watch face widgets. What enhancements does Android Wear 2.0 bring to the notification experience of users and app publishers? Let’s have closer look.

The fresh new visual style improves the way a user will interact with notifications. The visual and interaction changes make it much easier for users to read and interact with notifications from your app. The update also introduces expanded notifications, which provide substantial additional content and actions. Expanded notifications enable your mobile CRM team to deliver Wear users an app-like experience even if you haven’t built your own Android Wear app.


Visual Appeal Facilitates Engagement

  • Material design: In the update, material design has been specifically optimized for smartwatches, and this will have a direct incidence on the likelihood of users engaging with your notifications. The new design is meant to replicate an app-like experience as much as possible.
  • Dark background: This will impact your bridged notifications since your bridge notifications will now be displaying both light (Wear 1.x) and dark (Wear 2.0) backgrounds.
  • Horizontal swipe: The user can now swipe either right or left to dismiss a notification, so any text encouraging your users to swipe in one direction or the other needs to be updated.


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Uncluttered Notifications for a Better Experience

Notifications in Android Wear 2.0 benefited from nice improvements that should help boost engagement with your brand. The display of text and visuals has been adjusted so as to unclutter the watch face. Users now have an overview of how many notifications cards they have left in their notification stack, and they can take action within notifications directly.


Inline Actions for 1:1 Engagement

Wear 2.0 now supports inline action. An inline action allows your users to take action on a notification directly from within the notification itself. The inline action is displayed at the bottom of the notification card. Benefits here can be huge, your CRM team will need to test what works for your app. Good use cases include, for instance, giving your users the ability to answer a message, to stop a fitness activity, to archive a message, to “like” or “heart” content, to confirm a piece of information, to accept an offer.

Inline actions are a huge step closer to 1:1 engagement with your users. You can now deliver a message to a user within context, with relevant content and perfect timing. On top of all of that, she answers within moments.

So via notifications and thanks to inline actions, your brand and users are now closer than ever to having conversations. Because these conversations are triggered programmatically (and happen via apps and notifications rather than in person), we can call these “programmatic conversations”.


Expanded Notifications in Android Wear 2.0: Beyond Standard Notifications

Your CRM team can enrich your notifications with additional content and actions. Expanded Notifications, on top of the standard notification content and inline action (here called a primary action), will also include further content the user can scroll to, as well as an expandable action drawer below the primary action. Expanded Notifications then have four elements to them: a content title, scrollable content text, a first action and an action drawer.

With the additional content and available actions, you can now improve the information you deliver and enhance the opportunity to engage with your users.


Rich Chat Messaging & Smart Replies

Wear 2.0 enhances the chat capabilities of your chat messaging app, to provide a rich, app-like chat experience to your users, directly from the wearable device and from an expanded notification.

When you receive a message in your chat messaging app, and therefore also in its associated expanded notification on your wearable device, the expanded notification includes a title, the chat message, the first action which is usually “Reply”, other contextual canned responses such “Thanks!”, “I’ll be right there” or “Go for it!”, and finally the action drawer.

The benefits of these chat capabilities in Wear 2.0 are multiple. When a user engages in chat, she can do so in a way that can be considered fast (with a single tap) and discreet (no need to speak out loud).

An important side note with regards to data security, especially relevant to users in the DACH region: to be compliant with stringent EU data security regulations, data generated by smart replies is not sent to Google servers.


Notifications in Android Wear 2.0: An Opportunity for CRM Teams

The refreshed visual appeal of Android’s smartphone OS, as well as enhanced functionalities such as inline actions, expanded notifications, rich chat messaging and smart replies, will improve the user experiences with your notifications. Inherently, it is thanks to these enhancements that you’ll be able to better grab the attention of your users. Drive them back to your app, remind them of the value of your offer, increase revenue, and encourage word-of-mouth.


If you would like to discuss sending notifications to wearable devices, contact a 360dialog expert by email at info@360dialog.com.

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