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[APP][4.1+] Bubble Cloud Widgets + Wear Mini Launcher alternative for smartwatches

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Thanks Meter: 73
By vgergo, Senior Member on 7th October 2014, 11:14 PM
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Place apps and bookmarks in Apple Watch style "circle clouds" on your phone's or tablet's homescreen OR even your android wear watch
But wait: there's a twist!

This is a 2 in 1 app:
  • you can use it on your regular Android Device (phone or tablet) as home screen widgets
  • and you can install it on your Android Wear smartwatch, as an app-drawer (similar to Wear Mini Launcher) or even as a watchface launcher (start apps right from your watch face)
for more info, please watch the video below, it will be clear!

Get it for free in the Google Play Store - go premium with a $2 in-app-purchase

The current version of this app includes the following Bubble Clouds:
App Bubble Cloud Widget for the homescreen (launcher icons)
Bookmark Bubble Cloud Widget for the homescreen (weblinks)
Contact Bubble Cloud Widget for the homescreen (people) [Premium]
Wear Bubble Cloud Launcher (app drawer) [Premium]

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►bubbles in the clouds change size dynamically: they grow with use
►app bubble clouds <b>auto populate by Play Store categories</b> and <b>Contact groups</b> [see below]
►new bubbles appear in the center of the cloud
►unused bubbles shrink to become dwarfs and can eventually disappear
►you may add and remove bubbles manually
►when a widget is removed, its contents can be retained and used in another widget

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►clouds of colorful clickable circles which launch applications
►the bubbles show each app's launcher icon in a matching color circle (or hand-pick color)
►add apps one by one or in bulk by Play Store categories
►place any number of clouds on your homescreens [Free version limit: 1 cloud]
►newly installed apps appear in auto-populated App Bubble Clouds based on their Play Store categories [Premium feature]

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►a cloud of colorful clickable circles which open your favorite webpages
►add links using the <b>share functionality</b> of any web browser app
►smaller bubbles show the favicon of the site in a matching color circle
►larger bubbles may display the thumbnail image of the website - you take the snapshot

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►clouds of colorful clickable circles provide quick access to your contacts
►the bubbles show the photo in matching color circle or hand-pick the color for textual bubbles
►add people one by one or in bulk by <b>contact groups</b>
►place any number of clouds on your homescreens
►newly added contacts appear in auto-populated Contact Bubble Clouds

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First and only Watch Face launcher for Android Wear
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25th October 2014, 05:32 PM |#2  
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Detailed change log
The complete change log found a new home on my website:

I will post updates
FUTURE FEATURE LIST (=future plans...)
{A}=very easy → {Z}=VERY HARD
+clock/battery/weather/date/wifi bubbles in the home screen widgets too {M}
+favorite cloud with most used bubbles from other clouds {E}
+unread count badges using MissedIt! {O}
*direct link to system setting groups on the watch (connectivity, apps etc - I will have to see what's possible)
+use secondary watch buttons to advance pages of paginated archive
+pan around (up + down too) in the bubble clouds on the watch (ZOOM in?) → gesture suggestion by Oliver Löscher {Q}
+phone bubble should change when watch gets disconnected from phone. (+ Optional vibrating "Phone away" alert?) {H}
+dual battery display option in phone battery bubble {B}
+color options / circle type progress bubbles (alternatives to the red-to-green) {K}
+save layouts (and bubbles) in the app → recall them by rules (charging / wifi / time of day → Tasker plugin?) {H}
+ability to have custom vibration set when clicking an app icon {B}
+Ability to drag and drop app icons on the watch to move them around instead of understanding the number math on the cloud design page. {J}
+Ability to customize app name (around ring, inside ring, top bottom) of apps. Current default is below app. {G}
+create text (character) based bubble images similar to contact bubbles when no contact images are found {E}
+control Bubble Clouds using Tasker: show/hide bubbles, change bubble sizes, replace layouts - what other parameters would you want to control? I am open to your input! {N}

Change log:
Legend: + new feature * bug fix ~ change - removed function = affects widget-only app too

Most recent production version:
(* starred version numbers = production versions, "a" = public alpha, rest are public beta)

Update: The complete change log found a new home on my website:
(the 32000 character post limit drove me crazy here...)

+new expert option (on watch) hide status icons from ambient/inactive watch face (the active wf never has it)
*crash with second long press when Method "H" was enabled for Long press button
*crash when timer/app drawer is assigned to first press of the secondary button and no long press is enabled (I know...)
*sharedpref corruption related crash in shortcut settings in phone
*bubbleimageprovider made more robust (missing_image.png)
*clock tap/double tap shortcut could not be assigned if long press was not set
+new shortcut action for hardware buttons: "do nothing" (to disable them if they tend to get pressed accidentally)
~option name updated to "status indicators on watch face" (was "status icons on watch face" can be mistaken for unrelated Notification icons plugin)
+updated christmas theme pack teaser added

*empty folders opened vie button crashed when long press selected. No more crash.
*hungarian price reference update
*double long press invokes double secondary press function
*hide (disable?) minutes color box when outline is enabled on the phone
*rare crash when pressing the secondary button on watch
*Wear Cloud Editor will switch to "filled bubbles" only in the cloud where the app bubble with the custom image is
~change every Google+ link to the new Bubble Clouds website (
+new website teaser in what's new dialog for widgets
*remove center/corner item when clear clock defaults on phone
*=rare bubble animation crash on phone
*crash when clicking on notification icons video link
*crash when assigning certain complications to the peek card
*crash during startup on watch

*crash in WearOS page in phone app
+use equal sign to specify petal toggle display labels [0=off|1=on] you can even use emoji [1=|2=|3=] tip: [+Rod Cowan]
*during auto-installation of notification icons plugin, the app should not show the notice "Move x bubbles away from the watch face" (it only has 4 by default)
~updated the years in the sentence "I have worked 4 years on the app" (was still saying 3)
*if phone is Lollipop or older treat notification icons as color icons (do not apply uniform color filter) - you can still override the color filter
*in Notification Bubble Color settings you have to override the "uniform color" for "override theme bubble" to take effect (app will no prevent to check them independently)
*Bubble Edit screen had wrong controls for toggle, lock, and clock bubbles
+unified "Assign shortcut" option in Bubble Edit screen to assign long press button, quick swipe panel (and 6 new custom shortcuts)
*show long button press assignment of Theater, Sunlight, Timer, Assistant correctly in the Bubble Edit screen too
-removed long press and 2nd long press control from settings on the watch
-removed quick swipe panel config from the settings screen on the watch
-removed tap, long tap, and 2xtap clock bubble options from expert settings on watch
-removed "assign to button" option from the expert settings on watch
+added "Shortcuts" button and new screen with all the shortcut customization
+added warning "OK Google" will not work when gesture detection is enabled on watch face
~clarified menu command "show hidden bubbles" (instead of show hidden apps)
~clarified message "triple tap screen to exit theater mode" (it used to say "Hold screen") It's actually triple tap, then a message instructs to hold.
+added long press clock bubble in app drawer mode. It will start voice search by default
+both long press and double/single tap clock bubble now configurable
+assign single and double press actions to extra hardware buttons
+designed new bubbles for button actions (button 2 and 3)
+new Shortcuts section on the phone
-"long press" options removed from Wear OS settings group on phone
-"quick swipe panel" and "double tap for voice search" options removed from Watchface settings group on phone
-"tap/longtap" option removed from App launcher settings group on phone
+new shortcut settings and 2nd long press configuration backed up and restored
*the first option used to say "default (voice search)" even for the 2nd long press of the hardware key in the settings on the phone
*trying to assign a 2nd button press on the phone gave the wrong Premium upgrade insentive
*trigger reload button assignments on watch
*prevent changing the 2nd button press unless the first press is set
*button settings were not correctly stored on the phone (only sent to watch)
+new switch (in Shortcuts section on watch): alternative long press remap for Wear OS "H" (API 28)
*layout corrections in Shortcut settings screens (both watch and phone) for Android Wear 1.x watches
*renamed new option <Remap Voice Search> to <Method "H">
*"Assign to shortcut" command was not visible on Android Wear 1.x watches
+added translations for new options
*circumvented a crash in the timer
+added call to star SMS policy issue tracker
+clickable settings icon to open secondary button assignment on watch
*show button press toasts shorter
7: (was beta → join)
+select folder items using the secondary buttons, long press to activate (only if folder was opened via secondary button)
+select petals in smart home petal view using the secondary buttons, long press to activate
+settings, switch analog/digital, and flash light are added to the quick options for button press/clock bubble click (you don't need to long press corresponding bubbles to assign)
+custom action icons refer to the custom icon (tasker/complication/folder/smart home/phone app/regular app)
*smart home control bubbles assigned to button did not work
+Added video to the secondary button settings section in the phone app
*fixed a crash in permission request screen on watch
*wrong flashlight icon in the Shortcut section in the phone

~date day also gets seconds color if defined in theme
+analog theme packs can set "nonclockmargin" for their digital variants
*improved phone / watch connection
+Wear Cloud Editor now indicates ongoing communication with the watch (sync icon shrinks and stays in the action bar for the duration of the data transfer)
+ready for Phone Notification Bubble plugin
*much improved app drawer refresh speed (less layout inflation)
*eliminated the flashing when bubbles are tapped on the inactive watch face with the gesture detection enabled
*fixed long press inactive watch face to switch watch faces
*sometimes failed to bring up watch face picker when turning off Bubble Cloud
*sometimes the inactive watch face would be blank (did not draw when !visible)
*improved layout for Bubble Edit screen on watch
+notification bubble configuration dialog
*sometimes refreshed before sync completed
+extended notification-bubble edit screen on the watch
+teaser icons for the new theme (watch + phone)
+new warning icons for colors defined by uniform color settings elsewhere in the app (text warning is also shown including a "Fix" action)
+new options "override uniform colors" and "override theme bubbles" in the Status Bubble color config screen
+get description when the active/ambient symbols tapped
~number of recommended bubbles for analog themes 4→6
+"Notification bubbles" section in the Wear Settings app on the phone
+auto-configure notification watch face if "Notification Bubbles" theme/plugin/app is installed before Bubble Cloud on the watch
*status icons did not show in app-drawer mode, if count badges were enabled
~when applying themes, use seconds color as optional icon/overflow text color in notification bubbles (when overridden)
*ambient bubbles were also drawn after switching from watch-face mode to app-drawer mode (caused notification bubbles to fail)
*ongoing notification is removed when app is killed and restarted in the background
*notification bubbles caused bubble colors to get mixed up
*notification bubbles did not work well with custom layouts (make sure to have as many notification bubbles displayed as you want before starting to work on custom layout)
*notification icons did not update if their number did not change
+warning in Bubble Cloud phone app (and "fix" button) for missing notification access
+warning in Bubble Cloud phone app (and "unhide" button) if notification bubble is hidden
~updated video:
~added video to phone / wear What's New sections
*What's new video thumbnail error
*layout glitches
-removed the "Apply" button from the Notification Bubble dialog, sending settings in real time instead
*improved notification bubble color dialog layout
*crash in some languages
*clicking on the "Notification Bubbles" teaser images will also start the video
*ask users with OOM to email me (app keeps crashing for 2 people - multiple times a day! - I don't know why, and they don't contact me)
*crash in main app showing/hiding youtube button in notification card
*OOM crash update

*fix a rare crash when exiting the WearOS screen before the first 1-click themes are loaded
*fix a rare corrupted bubble image resource related crash in popup folders on the phone
*removed a few startforegroundservice commands, where caller is in the foreground already
*prompt to update main app if Premium Key is too new (both on the phone and on the watch)
*do not mix execute and executeOnExecutor(THREAD_POOL_EXECUTOR)
*clock bubble dial is not shown behind digital clock bubbles, unless it is set to a custom icon or image on the phone
-removed the reminder to clear theme when switching between analog and digital
~outline ambient font for "shlop","pumpkin12","skinny12" and "lycanthrope" too
+moved helper routines into Premium Key 9.41 (beta) and Summary 1.10 to detect charger, wifi and ringmode changes (no longer possible in Oreo)
+at boot and when entering the main app: activate wifi/ringmode/power detection preOreo helper
+if no Helper and no Premium Key show hint at the bottom of the watch face settings card in expert mode
~dim screen behind dialog boxes (edit bubble, warnings, upgrade reminders etc)
+show warning in Wear Cloud Editor when toggling selective ambient visibility while ambient mode is not set to selective ambient
*crash in 1-click theme selector / selective apply on the phone (if no background has been set before)
+more specific labels for "extra" pieces in theme apply screens ("center", "corners")
*rare crash in Wear Cloud Editor while editing Tasker bubbles
+"retry" button in phone app's watch connection dialog
+it will also retry as soon as you open the dialog and auto-dismiss the dialog when connected
*app drawer opening complication did not always work on Android Oreo
+new analog/digital clock switcher bubble (Analog → Off-center digital → Full screen digital)
+keep track of separate margin settings for full screen analog clock layout and other layouts
*fixed a bug when restoring default font using the phone app
~select the last item (="default font on black") in "1-click theme" section on phone
→ clears theme (if Apply All set)
→ restores default font (if Apply All is not set)
*crash when selecting backgrounds which have their extra parameter renamed (in v9.42.1)
~clicking "Default" in the color picker for transparent background themes will set the theme's default background color (had to press cancel for it earlier)
*adding more theme components after recoloring them on the watch did not include them unless you adjusted the colors again before pressing "OK"
*NoSuchMethodError in Intro on Android 1.x watches
*distorted contact bubbles on watches with chin (flat tire)
*shorten the "this theme works best with x bubbles or less" if user ever long pressed a bubble to edit
~you can now always sticky open apps without double-tap to sticky open being enabled
*new analogdigital toggle bubble icon was broken on older phones (bad vector drawable)
+Clock Toggle Bubble now changes settings externally, when you return to a settings screen on the watch it will now reflect the updated values
+Also detect when settings are changed remotely from the phone
+instruct user how to enable "Phone" permission if "deny, don't ask" was selected earlier
*=crash in contact selector screen while attempting to fetch contact icons
*ANR related to deadlock while Weather updating
*bug preventing background color pick in phone app
*keep hidden peek card hidden even if WearOS insists on refreshing it (new in Wear OS 2.17)
*=Widget bubble animation fixed [thank you +Joseph Rubin for reporting this!]

API 26 Compliance (except Android Wear 1.x component)

+Wear app phone component API26 update
*Improved phone/watch battery bubble update frequency/reliability
*fixed sending email from watch (it used to always lose authentication)
~email authentication request notification on phone
+new notification channel: "Troubleshoot problems" (errors: email authentication, weather/sunset location)
+new notification channel: "Wear contacts call" (hangup call from watch)
*fixed serious issue introduced in v9.38 relink mixing up contacts during resync
*improved weather bubble update reliability
*improved watch-phone connection reliability when opening settings app on the phone
*phone app was still updating weather/battery and other info when live info was disabled for app drawer mode
*reduced sunset/sunrise time update to 6 times a day (instead of every time the battery info was updated)
*=SmartHome HTTP command editor crashed if selection was made backwards (using a keyboard)
+visual feedback when email/text is submitted for sending
+icons in response toasts checkmark / X when sending messages, making calls
*Oreo JobIntentService was way too slow for contact and smart home bubble actions (it could take 5 minutes for the phone to react, ridiculus):
*Restored regular background services even though short notification icons need to show if processing takes longer than 5 seconds, Android Oreo is just ****
*fixed an issue with gesture detection on the watch
*=force users to upgrade Premium key to v9.41
*bug: rotary crown brought up the dummy peek card in app drawer mode
~even if "Low brightness also dims ambient face" is enabled it no longer dims ambient brightness in the morning when brightness is set to auto
*enable Do-not-disturb permission watcher service on Oreo+
~improved bubble cloud background service notification icon
*enable package install detection on Oreo+ after user is referred to install / update Premium Key / Plugin / Theme pack from Google Play
*updated Play Store links: list DYNA Logix apps instead of searching for hashtag, specify package "" to avoid chooser
+themepack teasers always link to their Play Store pages (previously they linked to Play Store search)
*battery updater crashed on older phones
+unlock Premium via Key app on watch
~the version number at the bottom of the settings screen on the watch will have "+PRO" for unlocked premium features (was just "+")
+plea for 5-star reviews in more languages (German, French, Dutch, Chinese)
*=wear/widget add contact screen showed "Scanning installed apps" over progress bar
*wear contacts cloud auto population scan only started after phone rebooted if you did not have any contact home screen widgets on the phone
*switched to "Carte coup d'œil" instead of "Carte Peek" in French [merci Axel Moulin!]
*tapping dummy peek card took user into settings not into the add/remove peek card dialog in Wear 1.x version
*Android Wear 1.x watches don't get dummy peek card
*still wear contacts cloud auto population scan only started after phone rebooted if you did not have any contact home screen widgets on the phone
*removed debug logging entries [preparation for production release]
*=contact list sometimes took a long time to load even though filtering was off
~=random automatic contact bubble colors for contacts with numbers in name which have no image
*new expert option: Clocks not synced (enable if you like your watch and phone be set to different times. Delayed commands will not timeout after 3 min)
*calls to appsender and stand-up refresh → foregroundservice
+do not show peek card for my own background task notification
~1-click themes are shown much quicker after opening the application
+smoothscroll to selected 1-click theme
+auto-apply 1-click theme if a single pack is installed when Bubble Cloud first started
*message to install companion app on phone did not show
+show theme notes the first time the favorites cloud is shown with the new theme
+new expert option "Unread dot on watch face" (off by default) [tip: Martin]
~Play Store link to Dyna Logix app-list, not "Page"
+added missing translations
*changed back the play store links (the Google recommended ones caused intent disambiguation picker to show up)
*fixed multiple Oreo related background crashes on watch and phone
*updated theme pack 0 icon could not be hidden on the phone
*fixed a relatively rare crash in WearDialService (while updating Wear Contact Cloud in the background on Oreo devices)

Earlier versions:

15th November 2014, 01:00 AM |#3  
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version 1.20 More info bubbles on watch
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If you enable the "clock" option in your watch settings, 3 bubbles will display real-time information:
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  • "Set Alarm" bubble = clock
  • Battery app bubble = battery level If battery related applications are installed (such as Wear Battery Stats, Wear Battery Monitor) their icons will be replaced by the battery percentage, and the bubble's color will change from green to red as the battery depletes. If no battery related apps are installed, the "Set Timer" bubble will show the battery level.
  • "View alarms" bubble = date and day of the week
Tapping on these bubbles will still open their corresponding applications.

These info bubbles are useful, if you leave the Bubble Panel on the screen of your watch. Looks great, and you get the necessary information at a glance. I am waiting for the official watch face documentation to possibly implement this as a watch face. If no screen touches are going to be allowed on the watch face I will go improve this solution to show-through underlying cards.
29th November 2014, 12:01 AM |#4  
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version 1.30: Contact bubble cloud on Android Wear!

Android wear makes it easy to respond to calls, text messages and email right from the watch. To initiate such forms of communication, the only built in option is by voice command. This is often not convenient:
  • if many of your contacts have similar names
  • if contacts have several phone numbers
  • if contacts have unusually pronounced names
  • if you try to call somebody in a noisy environment
For these situations I implemented the contact bubble cloud that appears on the Android Wear watch:
  • tap the yellow contact bubble in the app bubble cloud to open the contact cloud (yellow icon is hidden if wear contact cloud is empty)
  • use the "Select contacts" button in the handheld app's Wear Component card to add maximum 15 contacts to the wear contact cloud
  • tap a contact bubble on the watch to open it's contact page
  • it is intended to be used with a headset: the call is made as soon as you tap one of the blue dialing buttons (home, mobile work or other). Hang up using the notification on the watch.
  • press the yellow envelope to create a text message by dictation. You will be able to review the message before sending
  • if you authenticated the app (using the button in the Wear Component card) you will be also able to send email messages from the watch by tapping the gray envelope, without taking your phone out of your pocket
  • press the yellow trash can icon to remove the contact from the watch (you will be prompted to long tap to confirm)
  • remove all contacts by pressing the yellow contact bubble in the handheld app's Wear Component card
  • settings such as bubble border width, or cloud background color, freeze bubbles, delete dwarfs all affect the Wear Contact Bubble Cloud too

2nd December 2014, 09:23 PM |#5  
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New in v1.33: Sticky open apps on Android Wear
How many times has this happened to you? You open an app (google-keep, calculator etc.) → it stays on screen for a while, but then the screen dims and the regular watch face appears. You un-dim the screen, and now you have to switch back to the app by reopening it. Some apps keep the screen on, but that can be dangerous too, because of battery drain, if you forget to exit the app.

The revolutionary *"Sticky Open" mode* in Bubble Cloud Launcher offers a very intuitive solution: double tap an app bubble to open it, and also keep it on screen until it's not needed any more. The screen is allowed to dim, and when dimmed, the regular watch face will be displayed, but as soon as the screen is turned on again (by touch or by gesture) you will automatically be taken back to the stickied app.

While an app is stickied, a tiny lock symbol and the current time will be displayed on the top of the screen. Long press this area to turn off sticky mode. Opening the Bubble Cloud will also disable sticky mode. You can also swipe away the stickied app to access your watch face or notifications, but the app will return the next time the screen dims and un-dims.

Sticky mode is optional, you can disable it from the Wear Component card in the handheld app settings. When enabled, the Bubble cloud will not immediately slide off the screen when you tap a bubble, instead it will wait a moment to allow a second tap. This does not cause any delay in opening apps: Bubble Cloud already starts to load the selected app after the first tap.

In the non-premium version of the Bubble Cloud Launcher, an upgrade reminder is displayed sometimes before opening apps. Sticky mode is activated only when this reminder screen does not appear.
8th December 2014, 11:33 PM |#6  
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Increased resolution of App bubbles in v1.35
Do this to redraw bubbles using the higher resolution made available in version 1.35:

1. Press the pencil symbol
2. Then the plus (+) symbol
3. In the dialog, tap on the blue "Refresh images" (see screenshot)
Do this for every app cloud

13th December 2014, 10:12 PM |#7  
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version 1.38: Call log based dynamic contact bubble clouds

Starting with version 1.38 you can create extremely powerful contact cloud widgets both in your phone launcher and on the Android Wear watch:

Contact clouds which change their content dynamically based on your call log

  • Choose incoming, outgoing or missed calls
  • Create cloud based on the last 30 days
  • Have new bubbles appear automatically as you make and receive calls
  • People you haven't contacted disappear after 30 days (may become configurable in a later version)
  • Combine call log groups with regular groups, to keep constant members in the bubble cloud (even if not called recently)

Combined with the dynamic bubbles sizes this can replace your dialer most of the time (depending on your usage pattern).

The same behaviour can place 15 actively contacted people on your watch automatically
dictate response text or email to people whom you have missed calls from.
20th December 2014, 12:38 AM |#8  
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Default contact actions in Wear Contact Bubble Cloud

Starting v1.39, you can long press one of the call or messaging buttons on the Dial screen to set it as the default contact action

You will not be prompted for an action when you tap on contacts with default action set.
Long tapping on contacts will always take you to the Dial screen, even if a default action was set earlier. Modify the default action by long pressing another action. Clear the default by long pressing on the same action again.

Note: bubbles in the contact cloud are saved and restored after you reset (and re-pair) your Android Wear device. The current version however doesn't restore the default actions, they will need to be re-assigned in the event of a reset.
21st December 2014, 12:00 AM |#9  
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Beta program started
I understand, that too frequent updates can get on the nerve of users, so...
...starting with version 1.40 I am going to split the release cycle into a fast and a slower lane:
  • Sign up for the beta channel over at to always get the latest and greatest features and fixes as soon as they pass my internal tests.
  • Regular updates will happen less frequently (a week or two apart, unless an urgent bugfix needs to be made public).

To become a beta tester:
►request to join the tester community above
►you will get more frequent updates and early releases
►pls let me know if anything is not quite OK
►testers cannot rate apps: if you like BCW pls rate it before becoming a tester
Thank you!
26th January 2015, 12:19 AM |#10  
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Mixed content Bubble Cloud Widgets
On popular demand, starting with beta version 1.49 → you can have different kinds of bubbles in one cloud:

Here is how to achieve this:
  1. I created an App Bubble Cloud with the 4 apps
  2. I created a Contact Bubble Cloud with the 4 people
  3. I deleted the Contact widget (long press + drag to top in most launchers)
  4. BCW prompted me if I want to:
    • Delete the bubbles too (NO!)
    • Keep the bubbles as orphans to be added to a cloud later (still works)
    • Merge them into one of the listed widgets ◄◄◄ This is what I chose
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26th January 2015, 07:53 PM |#11  
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Widget vs Wear user UI

Order of setting cards for Android Wear Bubble Cloud users: (portrait pro, portrait free, landscape pro, landscape free)

Order of setting cards for Bubble Cloud Widgets users:
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