Getting WatchMaker and other watch faces onto your Android Wear watch with iOS

Search This thread

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
OK - this will be a relatively long post, but if you are interested in using more than the supplied watch faces when using your Android Wear watch with iOS, you will be (hopefully) rewarded at the end.

First, I have many Apple devices (phones, tablets, etc.), so I am comfortable in that environment. But for me buying an Apple Watch, especially a version 1 device, for over $350 didn't make sense to me, especially since I don't think I ever spent more than about $40 for a watch. Ever! Even for my Casio scientific watch back in the day. But I have always worn a watch and I use them for what they were originally intended - letting me know what time it is without having to pull out my phone. When the Apple watch did come out, I was intrigued, not about most of the functions, but because of the ability to design and change watch faces. But the Apple watch has very little flexibility here. So then I started to explore the other smart watch offerings, and found the Android Wear eco-system. And the customizations were and still are very open. With sites like WatchaWear and Facerepo, you can see that the sky is pretty much the limit. And with Facer and WatchMaker you can make extensive designs even if you can't develop Android Wear apps. But again, the early devices were almost as expensive as the Apple watch and also very large (I have moderate size wrists). That was the other thing I think Apple got right - two different sizes. But for round two of the Android Wear devices we see that the Moto 360 V2 and the ASUS Zenwatch 2 now come in two sizes. And both are quite reasonably priced, especially the ASUS offerings. I am not a fan of the flat tire on the MOTO's for aesthetic reasons. But for Black Friday the ASUS could be had for as little as $129, so I took the plunge. For a stainless steel Apple watch I would have paid over $550, plus I got a nice watch band for under $25 which would have cost me at least $50 on the Apple side, up to $149 for a nice metal band. So we are looking at $155 vs. up to $700 - quite a difference. Yes - I did spend an additional $40 as I had no other Android devices, but that was for the functionality of making beautiful watch faces. Since then I have learned about another option - AMIDuOS - an Android emulator. WatchMaker and Google Play work just fine in this emulator, and it is only $15 for the Lollipop (5.0.1) version.

I had done a reasonable amount of research and knew about some of the issues of working with the Android Wear offering while using iOS, so I purchased a cheap ($40) no contract phone (see tip above about AMIDuOS as another option) to set up the watch and run WatchMaker to design/modify watch faces. And with Android Wear now supporting connectivity over WiFi, I figured I could take the Android phone aroung to the places I visit most often just one (you need the phone to pair the watch to WiFi if it is protected and requires a passphrase), and then I could leave it home after that. And I really didn't care about most of the other functionality - I just wanted to be able to swap watch faces for different environments.

So I purchased WatchMaker premium from the Google Play store and away we went. I prepared may different watch faces and downloaded them to the watch and we were all set.

But there were a few functions that were nice to do from the watch when paired to the phone, and when I was in the car most of the time I would lose connectivity unless I bothered to set my iOS phone to tether, and even then I wouldn't get any notifications on the watch about my calendar events, messages or emails. And as it turns out some of those are quite nice to have on the watch.

So I looked around to see if there was any way to make WatchMkaer faces available by somehow allowing WatchMaker to run on the watch when paired to an iPhone. So after a couple of weeks and some hints and tips from the "Android Wear and iOS connectivity" thread, I have come up with a guide to allow you to run WatchMaker on the watch and select as many faces as you care to download. I will also explain how to get other watch faces that are available to run on the watch.

Kevin
 
Last edited:

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
The process

First, you will need a smartwatch with a USB interface running Android Wear 5.1 or later.

Next, download the Android Wear app from the App Store (requires at least iOS 8.4 or above). Then follow the setup process for pairing your watch and iPhone.

After that, try out a few of the supplied watch faces and make sure everything is working correctly.

Now, on the watch, get to the Settings app (right-to-left swipe at 3 o'clock) and tap on it to open. You need to scroll all the way down to the About entry. Tap on that, then scroll down until you see the Build Number. Tap on that 7 times and you will become a "developer". Now swipe right, and you will see a new option under About - Developer options. Tap on that, then scroll down to ADB debugging. It will probably be disabled. Tap on it and it will give you a confirmation prompt - click on the green checkmark to accept. Now you watch is ready to be connected to your computer.

My environment is Windows (7 and 10), but I understand this is very similar on OS/X.

Search the internet for and download the Android SDK.
Install it, making sure you select the USB drivers - especially for Windows 7 (Windows 10 seemed to find them automatically).
I highly recommend adding the ...sdk/tools and ...sdk/platform-tools to your system PATH environment variable (search the internet for examples on how to do this).
Now, with Device Manager open, attach your watch to your computer with your USB cable. If the device doesn't show any errors in device manager, you are all set. If you get the yellow triangle indicating the driver wasn't installed, you will need to search the internet for solutions to this problem. I don't think you need to do any of this stuff on OS/X.

At some point after you have everything connected properly, you will get a prompt on the watch for permission to connect to your computer. I would suggest the option which says to always trust this connection so you won't continue to get prompted.

OK - we now have everything we need (almost) to start installing WatchMaker and other watch faces.
 
Last edited:

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
The process (continued)

You will need an Android device to run WatchMaker on, and almost all other watch face apps. You can buy just about any Android phone that runs at least KitKat (4.4). I am not sure if it runs on Android tablets. You can also use the AMIDuOS emulator on Windows or the Andy emulator on Windows or Mac (I haven't actually tried the Windows version, but I have tested the Mac version and it works fine,). Make sure the Google Play Store app is installed on your device. Then purchase WatchMaker premium and install it. Then, if you want to control how long you watch face stays in the "bright" mode, purchase and install StayLit. (Note - I have no affiliation with any of these companies - just think their apps are what you need to make the most of using your watch as a watch).

Now apparently the apps that have companions that run on the watch automatically try to download the watch app (.apk files) that are included in their .apk file. So we need to extract those .apk's from the main app. I used a free program called AirDroid on the phone. You then open up a browser on your computer that's on the same network as your android phone and browse to the address listed in the AirDroid app. Then browse the Apps, and you should see both WatchMaker and StayLit. On your browser a down arrow will appear as you hover to the right of the app. Click on it - this will download the main .apk file. Save both of these to some folder on your PC. If you are using AMIDuOS, the process is just slightly different. You will need to put the emulator in Developer mode. You click on the Settings app, scroll down to the About Phone, and click on that. Then, as with the watch, click on the Build Number at the bottom 7 times until it says that you are a developer. This will add a new option to the settings - Developer options. Look for the USB debugging option in the Debugging section, and enable it. After that, you now need to open a command prompt. Make sure you have installed the Android SDK tools. Now, type ADB forward tcp:8888 tcp:8888. Do this until you don't get any errors. Now you can bring up AirDroid on the emulator. Then in a browser, you can open a session to http://localhost:8888. This will allow you to use AirDroid to download the .apk files from the emulator.

Now, open those .apk's with WinZip or 7Zip or equivalent. Inside each one, look inside sdk/raw. There will be another .apk with wear or wearable. Extract those files - you will be "sideloading" those into the watch.

Open a command prompt, and navigate to where you stored the wear .apk files.
First, type: ADB -d devices - you should get back a list with your watch serial number. If not, search the web for solutions.
To install WatchMaker, type: ADB -d install -i slide.watchFrenzy.premium android_wear_micro_apk.apk
And again, if you don't get Success - search the web for solutions.
If you purchased StayLit. install it with: ADB -d install -i com.phonephreak.extendedlight wearable_app.apk

At this point, if you check your Android Wear app on your iPhone, you should see WatchMaker Premium in gray available under watch faces. We're almost there. If you now go to the watch and press the middle of the face, you can select new faces - one of them should be the red WatchMaker Premium selection. If you select that, you should get the default Steel Blue face.

You can change how long the screen stays bright by swiping from right to left at 3 o'clock, then scroll down to the StayLit app. Tap on it and it will give you many choices - select the one you want by tapping on it and you're set (I like 30 seconds - you can always cover it with your hand if you want to manually dim it). But you need it to be longer than the default 5 seconds if you want to enjoy your selection of faces or for others to notice - after all, isn't that the reason we care about watch brands or faces? Otherwise, we could all wear an ugly cheapo and be done.

OK - now all that's left is to download our WatchMaker creations.
 
Last edited:

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
Process - last step

The simple version:
The WatchMaker folder structure on the watch is very close to the structure on the design (host Android phone or emulator) device. Here is the structure on the host:
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/,temp
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/export
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/featured
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/fonts
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/fonts_bm
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/gifs
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/images
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/maps
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview_dim
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview_mini
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview_small
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/scripts
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/share
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/wallpaper_bg
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/watches


and on the watch:
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/,temp
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/featured
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/fonts
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/fonts_bm
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/gifs
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/images
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/maps
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview_mini
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/scripts
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/wallpaper_bg
/sdcard/BeautifulWatches/watches


Case and spelling is extremely important - if any on the watch are not correct WatchMaker on the watch will not work correctly.

The contents of all of the folders on the watch is the same as that on the host with one exception - the .../preview_mini on the watch are closest to preview_small on the host.
So the short version is after getting the .apk file loaded onto the watch, just replicate the host folder structure onto the watch, minus the export, preview, preview_dim, preview_mini and share folders and renaming preview_small to preview_mini.

The detailed version:
OK - now this is the complicated part. After loading and selecting WatchMaker on the watch, it will create a directory structure /sdcard/BeautifulWatches

First, using either an Android device or the AMIDuOS emulator, create/download/modify all the watch faces that you want to use. Scripts and the WatchMaker LUA's do work, but there are a few functions that can't be used on iOS - basically anything obtained from the phone; so no weather status, no phone battery status, no WiFi or Bluetooth status. Watch battery status and phase of the moon do work.

Next, it turns out that the directory structure on the editing device is very close to that on the watch. So all we need to do is extract the files from the editing device, change/delete a few, and then send the modified structure back to the watch.

So open a command prompt on your computer, then navigate to a folder where we are going to mirror our structure (I recommend having the final branch being BeautifulWatches). Empty it first. Then seed it by entering: ADB -e pull /sdcard/BeautifulWatches. (The -e flag says to direct the command to the emulator). If you are using an actual Android device either use AirDroid to obtain the files or enable Developer mode on the android device and use a USB cable. If you use the USB cable, only connect either the design device or the watch at one time. In this case, use the -d option instead of the -e option - it says to use the USB device.

This will copy all of the necessary files/folders that we will need to our PC. Leave this command prompt open as we need to push our files back when we are done.

Using Windows explorer, or command prompt commands, delete the following folders: export, preview, preview_dim and preview_mini. Then rename preview_small to preview_mini.

And now, all we need to do is put the files back. Connect the watch to the computer with the USB cable. Then, from the same command prompt (or at least from a command prompt whose current directory is the ...\BeautifulWatches shadow location), type:
ADB -d push . /sdcard/BeautifulWatches

It's probably a good idea to now restart your watch. You can do this with ADB -d reboot.

Now, after "changing" watch faces by pressing down for a second or two on the watch face, you will see WatchMaker Premium with a little settings icon. Press this icon briefly and you will see all of your WatchMaker faces. Scroll left or right and select the one you wish to use.

From time to time, especially after deleting a lot of watches or making major changes to your watch face collection, it is probably a good idea to purge your watch of all the files before loading them from the computer. You can do this with a few commands from a command prompt:
ADB -d shell
cd /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/
rm -rf *
rm -rf .*
exit

Then push back your shadow folder and reboot your watch..

Kevin
 
Last edited:

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
Other watch faces

If you wish to install other watch faces that come packaged as .apk files, if they are installed on the Android phone (such as the animated Mickey watch face app) you can use basically the same process as the WatchMaker or StayLit app extraction. Install the app on your phone, download the .apk file, look inside for res/raw and see if there's another wear .apk file in there. Then just use the ADB install example_wear_apk.apk command to load the watch portion into your watch (the -i option isn't required and I just included it before because I happened to know their names). If you care you can use the command ADB shell PM list packages to get a list of packages installed before installing a new one, look for the one that wasn't there before, ADB uninstall by that service name, and then re-install using the -i xxxxxxxxx option.

If the .apk is already the wear .apk, just use the ADB install command to install it directly.

Kevin
 

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
And one more thing...

Sorry for the title, but after being able to pair with my iPhone, it is really useful to get notifications right on the watch (you can turn them off if you wish). And you can use OK, Google for some things that aren't obvious, like "show me my agenda for next Tuesday", which will show up right on the watch. Also 4 days of weather are available locally. Most any other OK Google will end up on the phone. And I don't have to carry two phones to get this functionality.

Kevin
 

pauljmiddleton

New member
Nov 29, 2015
2
0
Thank you for all this, I will give it a go, one quick question, you say that if you have the APK file, say you purchased a face and downloaded the APK to your PC, you could then just install the APK file directly onto the watch?

Thanks
 

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
Thank you for all this, I will give it a go, one quick question, you say that if you have the APK file, say you purchased a face and downloaded the APK to your PC, you could then just install the APK file directly onto the watch?

Thanks

I am not an expert on .apk's, but I think they are normally signed with certificates. But yes, if it's a valid .apk file on the PC you can load it to the watch, if it's the wear .apk. Many of the watch face .apk's are intended for the phone, and the wear apk is embedded inside the phone apk (in /res/raw), so you would need to extract the wear apk first. Then you can load that one to the watch. I tested a few of these (free watch faces, such as Eagle Watch Face and Elegance Watch Face). Their wear .apk was embedded in the phone apk, so I had to extract it first before loading it. But they both worked fine.

Kevin
 

SomeGuyInOz

Member
Aug 16, 2007
48
15
Awesome tutorial! Thank you for taking the time to write all this out. I haven't received my watch yet, but when I do I am eager to try this out. I'm in a similar situation to you - I prefer the Android Wear watches, but I like my iPhone, and I mostly use Windows. I've already purchased Watchmaker Premium so that I can tinker and be ready for my watch. I'm getting the Huawei Watch, btw. It's such a beautiful design compared to the ugly Apple Watch. To be honest, I will probably eventually switch entirely to Android - especially if jailbreaking ever becomes impossible. But for now, I like my jailbroken iPhone 6 so I will do what I can to make it work with my Android Wear device :)
 

rkick07

Member
Aug 12, 2010
43
1
thanks for this! I'm a bit confused but Are we able to load all the faces at once? Doing your guide will do that? I have dozens of faces on watchmaker so I want to be sure if I was to follow this guide all the faces will show up?

Or do I have to do this for each face?

Thank you
 

rkick07

Member
Aug 12, 2010
43
1
OK - now this is the complicated part. After loading and selecting WatchMaker on the watch, it will create a directory structure /sdcard/BeautifulWatches

First, we are going to extract that and make a copy of it on our PC's.
From the command prompt, navigate to a folder where we are going to mirror our structure (I recommend having the final branch being BeautifulWatches). Seed it by entering:
ABD pull /sdcard/BeautifulWatches

This will copy all of the necessary files/folders that we will be updating from our PC. Leave this command prompt open as we need to push our files back when we are done.
Next, design/modify your watch faces on your Android device. Scripts and the WatchMaker LUA's do work, but there are a few functions that can't be used on iOS - basically anything obtained from the phone; so no weather status, no phone battery status, no WiFi or Bluetooth status. Watch battery status and phase of the moon do work. After you are happy, go back to the lower left watch icon to get to the options screen for that watch face, and scroll down to the Export/Share and click on it. We need to get the .watch file(s) on our PC. After the export is done, it will ask you if you want to share the file now. Answer No as at this point the file we want has already been created and the only thing it is "sharing" is a .jpg of the watch face.

Now at this point we have the files we need to send to the watch. Again, using our browser connected to AirDroid, navigate to the files section and look in the BeautifulWatches folder on our Android phone. There will be a folder called export. Our .watch file is in here. Download this file to the PC. Also look in the preview folder and find the watch face you just exported and notice it's name (usually uxx.jpg where xx is a 1 or 2 or 3? digit number). Note the name as that's what we'll use below (nn) as it's name in the directory structure.

Open the .watch file with a zip extractor - you can associate .watch with your zip tool which will make things easier. Inside you will find the resources we need to transfer to the watch. Extract the watch.xml file to our shadow BeautifulWatches\watches folder, then rename it unn.xml. Extract any fonts or images into these same named shadow folders. Extract the watch.txt file into the scripts shadow folder and rename it to unn.txt. And finally, extract the Preview.jpg into the shadow preview-mini folder and rename it unn.jpg. When I looked at these when the watch was paired to an Android phone they were all 220x220 pixels, the Preview.jpg files are all 512x512. So for consistency I resize the unn.jpg to 220x220 pixels (you can use Microsoft Paint to do this easily).

And now, all we need to do is put the files back. From the same command prompt (or at least from a command prompt whose current directory is the ...\BeautifulWatches shadow location), type:
ADB push . /sdcard/BeautifulWatches

Now, after "changing" watch faces by pressing down for a second or two on the watch face, you will see WatchMaker Premium with a little settings icon. Press this icon briefly and you will see all of your WatchMaker faces. Scroll left or right and select the one you wish to use.

Kevin

ok Kevin, thanks for this and sorry for all the questions.

I got the watchmaker premium app installed on the watch and both default faces are there, this part is easy. Now I notice I will have to load each face once at a time - right? ok.

but you are killing me on the seed parrt when saying to enter ABD pull /sdcard/BeautifulWatches - I just notice the reason why it was not working is because you but "ABD" instead of "ADB" haha ok so now - where i stuck is when you say:

"Extract the watch.xml file to our shadow BeautifulWatches\watches folder, then rename it unn.xml. Extract any fonts or images into these same named shadow folders. Extract the watch.txt file into the scripts shadow folder and rename it to unn.txt. And finally, extract the Preview.jpg into the shadow preview-mini folder and rename it unn.jpg."

what do you mean by shadow folders? can you break this section down for me a bit more? I was able to export the face - see the name of the face in preview - rename the files but i dont understand the shadow folder part?

Thanks
 

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
Awesome tutorial! Thank you for taking the time to write all this out. I haven't received my watch yet, but when I do I am eager to try this out. I'm in a similar situation to you - I prefer the Android Wear watches, but I like my iPhone, and I mostly use Windows. I've already purchased Watchmaker Premium so that I can tinker and be ready for my watch. I'm getting the Huawei Watch, btw. It's such a beautiful design compared to the ugly Apple Watch. To be honest, I will probably eventually switch entirely to Android - especially if jailbreaking ever becomes impossible. But for now, I like my jailbroken iPhone 6 so I will do what I can to make it work with my Android Wear device :)

Out of curiosity, what Android device are you using to run WatchMaker?

Kevin
 

wkevinw

Member
Dec 1, 2015
45
51
ok Kevin, thanks for this and sorry for all the questions.

I got the watchmaker premium app installed on the watch and both default faces are there, this part is easy. Now I notice I will have to load each face once at a time - right? ok.

but you are killing me on the seed parrt when saying to enter ABD pull /sdcard/BeautifulWatches - I just notice the reason why it was not working is because you but "ABD" instead of "ADB" haha ok so now - where i stuck is when you say:

"Extract the watch.xml file to our shadow BeautifulWatches\watches folder, then rename it unn.xml. Extract any fonts or images into these same named shadow folders. Extract the watch.txt file into the scripts shadow folder and rename it to unn.txt. And finally, extract the Preview.jpg into the shadow preview-mini folder and rename it unn.jpg."

what do you mean by shadow folders? can you break this section down for me a bit more? I was able to export the face - see the name of the face in preview - rename the files but i dont understand the shadow folder part?

Thanks

First, sorry about the typo - I have updated that section.

Second, I received this suggestion from davpel, and it makes things much, much easier. And you get all your faces in one fell swoop:
One additional question. Since I have an Android phone as well which is running Watchmaker, do you think I could simply load up the desired faces on the phone and then replace the entire "Beautiful Watches" folder on the watch with the one from my phone?

As it turns out, this is a wonderful idea/suggestion.

Let me start by explaining what I meant by "shadow folders". In order to transfer all of our faces to the watch we need a place on the PC to keep them. And in order to be able to send everything we need and put them in their proper place it's easier if our directory (folder) structure be exactly the same as what WatchMaker needs on the watch. So this is the concept of "shadow folders" - a shadow or mirror image of what the phone needs. This is not absolutely necessary - we could store the files all over our PC and then transfer (ADB push) them one folder or even one file at a time, but it would be a bear to keep organized and remembered. Of course, you could write a .cmd file so you don't have to remember, but I like to keep it as simple as I can.

Now, davpel noticed that the folder structure on the device with the WatchMaker design software is very similar to what ends up on the watch, and is, in fact, a superset of what we need. And then instead of extracting files one face at a time and trying to figure out where everything goes, we can just copy the BeautifulWatches folder(s) from the phone to our PC (I used the free AirDroid app to do this) and optionally delete any extraneous items. I don't know if the extra items actually need to be deleted, but I found that you don't need the .temp, export, preview, preview_dim, preview_small and share folders. So I just delete them first, then transfer all the rest with "ADB push . /sdcard/BeautifulWatches" from a command prompt with the current directory set to our PC's BeautifulWatches folder. So tomorrow I will update that section of the guide with this new, simpler method.

Hope this helps.

Kevin
 

rkick07

Member
Aug 12, 2010
43
1
Now, davpel noticed that the folder structure on the device with the WatchMaker design software is very similar to what ends up on the watch, and is, in fact, a superset of what we need. And then instead of extracting files one face at a time and trying to figure out where everything goes, we can just copy the BeautifulWatches folder(s) from the phone to our PC (I used the free AirDroid app to do this) and optionally delete any extraneous items. I don't know if the extra items actually need to be deleted, but I found that you don't need the .temp, export, preview, preview_dim, preview_small and share folders. So I just delete them first, then transfer all the rest with "ADB push . /sdcard/BeautifulWatches" from a command prompt with the current directory set to our PC's BeautifulWatches folder. So tomorrow I will update that section of the guide with this new, simpler method.

Hope this helps.

Kevin

That sounds awesome! That will indeed be ther perfect solution. Looking forward towards it.
Thanks!:good:
 

verticalmove

New member
Dec 6, 2015
1
0
./adb pull /sdcard/BeautifulWatches

Huawei Watch - I'm stuck at this ./abd pull instructions and continue to get this:

pull: building file list...
0 files pulled. 0 files skipped.

Would appreciate some help.
 

SomeGuyInOz

Member
Aug 16, 2007
48
15
Out of curiosity, what Android device are you using to run WatchMaker?

Kevin

At the moment I'm using an LG P769 which I bought 2 years ago. I'm running a custom rom on it (CM11), but it is pretty slow. I'm thinking of getting a new phone or even a tablet so that I can run this stuff a little faster with a newer version of Android. I used to use this as a secondary phone on trips to the USA (it's an unlocked T-Mobile phone), but don't use it as a phone any more; just a toy to tinker with ;)
 

rkick07

Member
Aug 12, 2010
43
1
Kevin, I did it! I loaded all the faces in one push!

I simply copied all the folders from watchmker using Airdroid to the PC in a Beautifulwatches folder I created on my desktop. then from that folder on the browser I ran the push code, ADB push . /sdcard/BeautifulWatches
and bam! they all loaded!

sorry a bit excited right now.
:victory::victory::victory::victory::victory::victory::victory::victory::victory:
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SomeGuyInOz

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 15
    OK - this will be a relatively long post, but if you are interested in using more than the supplied watch faces when using your Android Wear watch with iOS, you will be (hopefully) rewarded at the end.

    First, I have many Apple devices (phones, tablets, etc.), so I am comfortable in that environment. But for me buying an Apple Watch, especially a version 1 device, for over $350 didn't make sense to me, especially since I don't think I ever spent more than about $40 for a watch. Ever! Even for my Casio scientific watch back in the day. But I have always worn a watch and I use them for what they were originally intended - letting me know what time it is without having to pull out my phone. When the Apple watch did come out, I was intrigued, not about most of the functions, but because of the ability to design and change watch faces. But the Apple watch has very little flexibility here. So then I started to explore the other smart watch offerings, and found the Android Wear eco-system. And the customizations were and still are very open. With sites like WatchaWear and Facerepo, you can see that the sky is pretty much the limit. And with Facer and WatchMaker you can make extensive designs even if you can't develop Android Wear apps. But again, the early devices were almost as expensive as the Apple watch and also very large (I have moderate size wrists). That was the other thing I think Apple got right - two different sizes. But for round two of the Android Wear devices we see that the Moto 360 V2 and the ASUS Zenwatch 2 now come in two sizes. And both are quite reasonably priced, especially the ASUS offerings. I am not a fan of the flat tire on the MOTO's for aesthetic reasons. But for Black Friday the ASUS could be had for as little as $129, so I took the plunge. For a stainless steel Apple watch I would have paid over $550, plus I got a nice watch band for under $25 which would have cost me at least $50 on the Apple side, up to $149 for a nice metal band. So we are looking at $155 vs. up to $700 - quite a difference. Yes - I did spend an additional $40 as I had no other Android devices, but that was for the functionality of making beautiful watch faces. Since then I have learned about another option - AMIDuOS - an Android emulator. WatchMaker and Google Play work just fine in this emulator, and it is only $15 for the Lollipop (5.0.1) version.

    I had done a reasonable amount of research and knew about some of the issues of working with the Android Wear offering while using iOS, so I purchased a cheap ($40) no contract phone (see tip above about AMIDuOS as another option) to set up the watch and run WatchMaker to design/modify watch faces. And with Android Wear now supporting connectivity over WiFi, I figured I could take the Android phone aroung to the places I visit most often just one (you need the phone to pair the watch to WiFi if it is protected and requires a passphrase), and then I could leave it home after that. And I really didn't care about most of the other functionality - I just wanted to be able to swap watch faces for different environments.

    So I purchased WatchMaker premium from the Google Play store and away we went. I prepared may different watch faces and downloaded them to the watch and we were all set.

    But there were a few functions that were nice to do from the watch when paired to the phone, and when I was in the car most of the time I would lose connectivity unless I bothered to set my iOS phone to tether, and even then I wouldn't get any notifications on the watch about my calendar events, messages or emails. And as it turns out some of those are quite nice to have on the watch.

    So I looked around to see if there was any way to make WatchMkaer faces available by somehow allowing WatchMaker to run on the watch when paired to an iPhone. So after a couple of weeks and some hints and tips from the "Android Wear and iOS connectivity" thread, I have come up with a guide to allow you to run WatchMaker on the watch and select as many faces as you care to download. I will also explain how to get other watch faces that are available to run on the watch.

    Kevin
    7
    The process (continued)

    You will need an Android device to run WatchMaker on, and almost all other watch face apps. You can buy just about any Android phone that runs at least KitKat (4.4). I am not sure if it runs on Android tablets. You can also use the AMIDuOS emulator on Windows or the Andy emulator on Windows or Mac (I haven't actually tried the Windows version, but I have tested the Mac version and it works fine,). Make sure the Google Play Store app is installed on your device. Then purchase WatchMaker premium and install it. Then, if you want to control how long you watch face stays in the "bright" mode, purchase and install StayLit. (Note - I have no affiliation with any of these companies - just think their apps are what you need to make the most of using your watch as a watch).

    Now apparently the apps that have companions that run on the watch automatically try to download the watch app (.apk files) that are included in their .apk file. So we need to extract those .apk's from the main app. I used a free program called AirDroid on the phone. You then open up a browser on your computer that's on the same network as your android phone and browse to the address listed in the AirDroid app. Then browse the Apps, and you should see both WatchMaker and StayLit. On your browser a down arrow will appear as you hover to the right of the app. Click on it - this will download the main .apk file. Save both of these to some folder on your PC. If you are using AMIDuOS, the process is just slightly different. You will need to put the emulator in Developer mode. You click on the Settings app, scroll down to the About Phone, and click on that. Then, as with the watch, click on the Build Number at the bottom 7 times until it says that you are a developer. This will add a new option to the settings - Developer options. Look for the USB debugging option in the Debugging section, and enable it. After that, you now need to open a command prompt. Make sure you have installed the Android SDK tools. Now, type ADB forward tcp:8888 tcp:8888. Do this until you don't get any errors. Now you can bring up AirDroid on the emulator. Then in a browser, you can open a session to http://localhost:8888. This will allow you to use AirDroid to download the .apk files from the emulator.

    Now, open those .apk's with WinZip or 7Zip or equivalent. Inside each one, look inside sdk/raw. There will be another .apk with wear or wearable. Extract those files - you will be "sideloading" those into the watch.

    Open a command prompt, and navigate to where you stored the wear .apk files.
    First, type: ADB -d devices - you should get back a list with your watch serial number. If not, search the web for solutions.
    To install WatchMaker, type: ADB -d install -i slide.watchFrenzy.premium android_wear_micro_apk.apk
    And again, if you don't get Success - search the web for solutions.
    If you purchased StayLit. install it with: ADB -d install -i com.phonephreak.extendedlight wearable_app.apk

    At this point, if you check your Android Wear app on your iPhone, you should see WatchMaker Premium in gray available under watch faces. We're almost there. If you now go to the watch and press the middle of the face, you can select new faces - one of them should be the red WatchMaker Premium selection. If you select that, you should get the default Steel Blue face.

    You can change how long the screen stays bright by swiping from right to left at 3 o'clock, then scroll down to the StayLit app. Tap on it and it will give you many choices - select the one you want by tapping on it and you're set (I like 30 seconds - you can always cover it with your hand if you want to manually dim it). But you need it to be longer than the default 5 seconds if you want to enjoy your selection of faces or for others to notice - after all, isn't that the reason we care about watch brands or faces? Otherwise, we could all wear an ugly cheapo and be done.

    OK - now all that's left is to download our WatchMaker creations.
    5
    The process

    First, you will need a smartwatch with a USB interface running Android Wear 5.1 or later.

    Next, download the Android Wear app from the App Store (requires at least iOS 8.4 or above). Then follow the setup process for pairing your watch and iPhone.

    After that, try out a few of the supplied watch faces and make sure everything is working correctly.

    Now, on the watch, get to the Settings app (right-to-left swipe at 3 o'clock) and tap on it to open. You need to scroll all the way down to the About entry. Tap on that, then scroll down until you see the Build Number. Tap on that 7 times and you will become a "developer". Now swipe right, and you will see a new option under About - Developer options. Tap on that, then scroll down to ADB debugging. It will probably be disabled. Tap on it and it will give you a confirmation prompt - click on the green checkmark to accept. Now you watch is ready to be connected to your computer.

    My environment is Windows (7 and 10), but I understand this is very similar on OS/X.

    Search the internet for and download the Android SDK.
    Install it, making sure you select the USB drivers - especially for Windows 7 (Windows 10 seemed to find them automatically).
    I highly recommend adding the ...sdk/tools and ...sdk/platform-tools to your system PATH environment variable (search the internet for examples on how to do this).
    Now, with Device Manager open, attach your watch to your computer with your USB cable. If the device doesn't show any errors in device manager, you are all set. If you get the yellow triangle indicating the driver wasn't installed, you will need to search the internet for solutions to this problem. I don't think you need to do any of this stuff on OS/X.

    At some point after you have everything connected properly, you will get a prompt on the watch for permission to connect to your computer. I would suggest the option which says to always trust this connection so you won't continue to get prompted.

    OK - we now have everything we need (almost) to start installing WatchMaker and other watch faces.
    5
    Process - last step

    The simple version:
    The WatchMaker folder structure on the watch is very close to the structure on the design (host Android phone or emulator) device. Here is the structure on the host:
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/,temp
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/export
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/featured
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/fonts
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/fonts_bm
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/gifs
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/images
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/maps
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview_dim
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview_mini
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview_small
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/scripts
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/share
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/wallpaper_bg
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/watches


    and on the watch:
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/,temp
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/featured
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/fonts
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/fonts_bm
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/gifs
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/images
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/maps
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/preview_mini
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/scripts
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/wallpaper_bg
    /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/watches


    Case and spelling is extremely important - if any on the watch are not correct WatchMaker on the watch will not work correctly.

    The contents of all of the folders on the watch is the same as that on the host with one exception - the .../preview_mini on the watch are closest to preview_small on the host.
    So the short version is after getting the .apk file loaded onto the watch, just replicate the host folder structure onto the watch, minus the export, preview, preview_dim, preview_mini and share folders and renaming preview_small to preview_mini.

    The detailed version:
    OK - now this is the complicated part. After loading and selecting WatchMaker on the watch, it will create a directory structure /sdcard/BeautifulWatches

    First, using either an Android device or the AMIDuOS emulator, create/download/modify all the watch faces that you want to use. Scripts and the WatchMaker LUA's do work, but there are a few functions that can't be used on iOS - basically anything obtained from the phone; so no weather status, no phone battery status, no WiFi or Bluetooth status. Watch battery status and phase of the moon do work.

    Next, it turns out that the directory structure on the editing device is very close to that on the watch. So all we need to do is extract the files from the editing device, change/delete a few, and then send the modified structure back to the watch.

    So open a command prompt on your computer, then navigate to a folder where we are going to mirror our structure (I recommend having the final branch being BeautifulWatches). Empty it first. Then seed it by entering: ADB -e pull /sdcard/BeautifulWatches. (The -e flag says to direct the command to the emulator). If you are using an actual Android device either use AirDroid to obtain the files or enable Developer mode on the android device and use a USB cable. If you use the USB cable, only connect either the design device or the watch at one time. In this case, use the -d option instead of the -e option - it says to use the USB device.

    This will copy all of the necessary files/folders that we will need to our PC. Leave this command prompt open as we need to push our files back when we are done.

    Using Windows explorer, or command prompt commands, delete the following folders: export, preview, preview_dim and preview_mini. Then rename preview_small to preview_mini.

    And now, all we need to do is put the files back. Connect the watch to the computer with the USB cable. Then, from the same command prompt (or at least from a command prompt whose current directory is the ...\BeautifulWatches shadow location), type:
    ADB -d push . /sdcard/BeautifulWatches

    It's probably a good idea to now restart your watch. You can do this with ADB -d reboot.

    Now, after "changing" watch faces by pressing down for a second or two on the watch face, you will see WatchMaker Premium with a little settings icon. Press this icon briefly and you will see all of your WatchMaker faces. Scroll left or right and select the one you wish to use.

    From time to time, especially after deleting a lot of watches or making major changes to your watch face collection, it is probably a good idea to purge your watch of all the files before loading them from the computer. You can do this with a few commands from a command prompt:
    ADB -d shell
    cd /sdcard/BeautifulWatches/
    rm -rf *
    rm -rf .*
    exit

    Then push back your shadow folder and reboot your watch..

    Kevin
    4
    Other watch faces

    If you wish to install other watch faces that come packaged as .apk files, if they are installed on the Android phone (such as the animated Mickey watch face app) you can use basically the same process as the WatchMaker or StayLit app extraction. Install the app on your phone, download the .apk file, look inside for res/raw and see if there's another wear .apk file in there. Then just use the ADB install example_wear_apk.apk command to load the watch portion into your watch (the -i option isn't required and I just included it before because I happened to know their names). If you care you can use the command ADB shell PM list packages to get a list of packages installed before installing a new one, look for the one that wasn't there before, ADB uninstall by that service name, and then re-install using the -i xxxxxxxxx option.

    If the .apk is already the wear .apk, just use the ADB install command to install it directly.

    Kevin
Our Apps
Get our official app!
The best way to access XDA on your phone
Nav Gestures
Add swipe gestures to any Android
One Handed Mode
Eases uses one hand with your phone