Knitting Puppy Gear App

I recently got a Samsung Gear 2 Neo smart watch – it pairs with recent, powerful Samsung phones and tablets, but without them, it’s basically a pedometer. So I’d definitely only recommend it if you already have one of their recent devices (like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or Note 3 phones), and not if you use an iPhone or a non-Samsung Android phone.

I got mine to see how the form factor could work (now that Android Wear is out, and it’s likely that Apple will release some sort of wearable device in the fall), and to try writing a few apps for it. The Gear watches run Tizen, which is an HTML5/Linux-based environment, so if you are comfortable with HTML, Javascript, and CSS, it’s pretty easy to get an app going. The biggest problem is the screen – it’s about 1.7 inches on each side, and 320 pixels on each side. So you have a limited amount of screen real estate for user interface elements.

I designed a knitting counter for my wife – there are a lot of simple plastic devices (such as this one) that do the same thing. Basically, you can keep track of how many rows you’ve knitted for a project, and then swipe across the number to reset it.

The Gear watch supports HTML Touch Events, so I was able to hook into a swipe event to do the reset. I used a swipe gesture because the screen is so small, it’s quite easy to hit the wrong button if you have two on the screen next to each other. My original design had a reset button underneath the “Rows Finished” button, and I ended up hitting the wrong button a lot. With the gesture, it’s a lot harder to make that mistake.

If you have a Gear watch, the app should be approved by Samsung soon! I entered it in the Samsung Gear App Challenge, so I’ll be curious to find out how it does in the challenge. Here’s the video submission I made for the app if you want to see it in action: