Hi, I use and enjoy a Ticwatch Pro 3 watch, and before I had a TicWatch Pro 2020. During this time I have been learning tips for this watch, and some others I knew from when I was playing around with smartphones and I have moved them to the Wear OS world.
I want to share these tricks and hacks that I know that enhance the experience in this watch, in the same way, I invite you to post:
- That trick they know, and a novice at this is completely unaware.
- That super useful application, and that is not the usual one.
- That hidden function, and that you discovered by chance.
- That bug still not fixed with a firmware, and you solve it somehow.
I think it will be interesting for the community, so we will all take advantage of the collective knowledge. I will be compiling the most interesting tips in the initial post, of course mentioning the source.
Although I tested the tricks on Ticwatch Pro 3, they of course work for any Wear OS watch released as of February 2017 (wear OS 2.0).
- Mobvoi: Ticwatch C2, Ticwatch S/E, Ticwatch Pro, Ticwatch Pro 3
- Fossil Gen 5, Fossil Sport...
- Missfit Vapor X, Missfit Vapor 2
- Skagen Falster, Skagen Falster 2, Skagen Falster 3
- Xiaomi mi Watch
- OPPO Watch
- Huawei Watch 2
- Suunto 7
- Casio Pro Trek
- and more
- How to Transfer files to/from internal storage via Wi-Fi
- How to use an alternative keyboard
- How to prepare watch for advanced features
- App installation Methods on Wear OS
- How to install apps from the phone (Wear Installer)
- How to install apps from a computer (ADB commands)
- Interesting apps outside the Play Store
- Watch Faces from the Play Store that I like
- Wear OS watch Accessories
- How to make a homemade charging and data cable for TWP3
- How to stay informed about Wear OS
- How to solve doubts about Wear OS
- Interesting apps in the Play Store
- How to Change Watch resolution
- Useful ADB commands
- Speaker drain (Ticwatch Pro 3 only)
- How Wear OS watches are updated.
- How to force firmware update (Ticwatch Pro 3 only)
- Most common Wear OS issues and how to fix them.
- 'OK Google' does not activate Google Assistant
- Loses GPS signal, when you get separated from the phone
- Google Assistant in certain (too many) situations does not work properly.
- Google notifications and reminders are notified on the phone, but NOT on the watch.
- When you receive missed calls with the watch connected to the phone via bluetooth, the missed call notification is discarded from phone.
- All-in-One tool for Windows: Wear OS Tools
- How to Pair watch with another smartphone / Tablet without factory reset.
- Easter Egg in Wear OS
- How to troubleshoot boot problems. Bootloader Mode and Recovery Mode
- Functionality of Ticwatch Pro 3 buttons (Ticwatch Pro 3 only).
- Measures to extend the battery life of watch.
- How to disable watch bloatware. Mobvoi applications. (Ticwatch Pro 3 Only)
- How to use Google Pay with unsupported banks.
- How to use Google Pay in unsupported countries
- How to take long screenshots with the Wear Stitch tool.
- Conclusions on the current state of the Wear OS catalog.
- How to send files to the watch without Wi-Fi network.
- How to follow a hiking route from your watch with ViewRanger app
How to transfer files to / from internal storage
At least with the TicWatch Pro 3, you can only stream music to the watch (to listen to it offline) wirelessly and there is no official way to do it. It is strange considering that it has 8 GB of internal storage. As a curiosity to say that the charging cable of the Ticwatch Pro 2020 also serves to transmit files as if it were a common USB cable.
How to do it? It is possible to remotely access the watch from your computer or from your smartphone wirelessly, in this case using the FTP protocol. You can copy the files that you have saved in the internal storage of the watch to the computer, or send files from the computer to the watch, such as music, videos, texts, etc. The only requirement is that both devices are connected to the same Wi-fi network.
To do this you have to follow the following steps:
1. Download from the Play Store and install the NavExplorer application on the watch.
2. Open the application (1st picture) and go to the top menu, click on the Wi-Fi icon (2nd picture).
3. It shows you an address with the structure: ftp://watch_ip:2122/. This activates FTP server.
4a. If you want to access from the computer to the folders of the watch, open the Windows explorer, and in the upper part of the window, in the folder path write the address of point 3.
4b. If you want to access from smartphone use an advanced file manager, for example Solid Explorer. Open the application, select Storage manager > '+' > FTP, and follow the instructions, basically put IP address and the port number, which is 2122.
How to use an alternative keyboard
One of the most uncomfortable functions in the smartwatch is Having to use the keyboard on a 1.4 inch screen. You rarely need to write something from the watch, at least I do, but sometimes it happens, like when an app asks to log in with a username and password. Typing from the watch's built-in keyboard is tormenting. Smartwatches are not designed to answer messages, although of course it is possible.
To solve this problem there are applications like AOSP WIFI Keyboard that allows you to link the keyboard of your Computer to the watch by using the local Wi-Fi network, so that the computer keyboard can be used to type on the watch. The only requirement is that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network .
To link the keyboard and start using this typing option, follow these steps:
- Download the application here and install it on the watch. The application is in the Play Store, but since it is not an application optimized for WearOS, you will not find it from the watch's Play Store search engine.
- Once installed go to Settings > Personalization > Input methods > Manage keyboards , and activate the option AOSP Wifi Keyboard.
- Now when you want to use Wifi Keyboard, press and hold the keyboard icon in any text input field and select AOSP Wi-Fi Keyboard.
- Open your computer's browser, and type 'http://watch_ip:7777', for example, http://192.168.1.92:7777. A web page will open from which to write, and each time you press ENTER the text will be transmitted to the watch.
Note 1: If you don't know how to install apk files like the one in point 1, go to section 'Install applications from a computer (ADB commands)'.
Note 2: The smartwatch IP is obtained in the Wi-Fi settings. Pressing on your Wifi network.
Note 3: To go back to the previous keyboard, just do step 3.
How to prepare watch for advanced functions
What you are doing with the following steps is enabling the watch to receive instructions via ADB. The ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge. As its name suggests, it is a tool through which the command console of our computer will act as a bridge between it and the phone. Thanks to it, we can send commands to the phone, such as install applications, take screenshots, etc.
- On your computer, download and install the ADB tools, such as 15 seconds ADB Installer.
- On the watch, go to Settings > system > About and repeatedly tap ' Build number ' until You see a message that says 'You are now a developer'. Then go to Settings > developer options and enable 'ADB debugging' and 'Debugging over Wi-Fi '.
App installation methods on Wear OS.
Currently in Wear OS there are three methods for installing apps on the watch, of which the second method will be blocked by Google as of March 10, 2021, although there is already a workaround for this:
- The first method is the obvious one, that is, through the Play Store of the watch, you search for the app you are interested in, install it and that's it. In the watch's search engine only apps optimized for Wear OS will appear, the same as if you search on your phone, apps exclusively for Wear OS will not appear.
- The second method is installing the apps from the phone, using an app called "Wear Installer" which will act as a bridge between the phone and the watch. This application filters the applications installed on the phone (or simply downloaded to the internal memory) that contain the app optimized for Wear OS. When you choose to install, it sends it over Wi-Fi and installs the Wear OS-specific module that is contained within the phone app. In the section "Install apps from the phone (Wear Installer)" I explain how to install it.
- The third method, is installing the apps from a computer and through ADB commands, I explain this method in the section "Install apps from a computer (ADB commands)". To facilitate the matter you can use this application All in One for Windows that automates the process, in the section "All-in-One tool for Windows, Wear OS Tools" I explain in more detail.
2nd Method. Install apps from the phone (Wear Installer).
This method should be used when you want to install from the phone applications that are not hosted on the Play Store, however these apps must be optimized for Wear OS. The steps for installing and using Wear Installer are as follows:
1. On the phone, download Wear installer here and install.
2. On the watch, open Play Store and click on the "Apps on your phone" option.
3. There you should see the "Wear installer" app. Finally install it.
4. On the watch enable debugging, to do this go to Settings > system > About and tap several times "Build number" until you see a message that says "you are now a developer". Next go to Settings > developer options and enable "ADB debugging" and "Debugging over Wi-Fi".
5. On the phone open "Wear installer" app and press OK. You will see 2 tabs, the first one is the list of all the apps installed on your phone, and the second tab is the list of the apps you have downloaded to the phone (apk files) and found in the "Download" folder.
6. Select the app you want to install on the watch, it must have the Wear OS apk inside for it to be installed. Accept the debugging on the watch and Wear Installer will extract the component, send it and install it on the watch.
3rd Method. Install applications from a computer (ADB commands)
This method should be used when you want to install from your computer applications that are not hosted on the Play Store. With this method you could install any android application whether it is optimized for Wear OS or not. The steps for Windows environment are as follows:
1. If you have not done so yet, follow the steps in 'Prepare watch for advanced functions '.
2. On your computer, open a command window, to do this in Windows type 'cmd' in the toolbar.
3. Then enter the following command to connect to the watch. Then accept a message on the clock that allows the computer to connect.
adb connect watch_ip:5555
4. Now, it is the step to send the apk application to the watch in the first command and install it in the second. Make sure to enter the path correctly in the following commands.
adb push filename.apk /sdcard/ adb -e install filename.apk
Interesting apps outside Play Store.
Now that you know the different methods for installing apps I'm going to recommend several apps that are outside the Play Store servers, and explain which is the proper method to install them:
Wear Text: (Download here). (Installation method 2)
Wear Text is an app for making phone calls or sending a text or WhatsApp message using voice commands. Currently (and for a long time now) Google Assistant does not allow you to do this and hasn't fixed it either.
Installation and configuration:
- Download and install Wear Text on the phone. Then install the watch version of the app using Wear Installer or Bugjaeger.
- Open the app on the phone and accept the permissions to manage calls and SMS messages. Once inside the app enter the name of a contact with one word, followed by a comma and the phone number without spaces (you must include the country code). If you want to send messages to certain contacts, preferably whatsapp messages instead of SMS messages, include the letter "W" after the phone number. As an example, it would look like this: Susana,+34666123456:W.
- If the language you speak is not English, set in your own language the word "call" in the option "Set Call Word" found by pressing the 3 dots in the upper right corner.
- On the phone, set your watch as a trusted device for smart lock and grant accessibility access to Wear Text. This way you will be able to send WhatsApp messages using Wear.
- Finally, press "Save" and you're done.
The idea is that you can assign the app to a physical button (I recommend the Button Launcher app for the possibilities it offers you) and then open other apps by just saying its name.
- Launch the Auto Text app on the watch. You can assign the app to a physical button (I recommend the Button Launcher app for the possibilities it offers).
- If you want to send a message say a sentence like "Susana I will be home in 30 minutes. As in that contact the "W" mark was included the message will be sent by Whatsapp.
- If you want to initiate a call , say "call Susana"
- Note that once installed on your watch, Wear Text changes its name to Auto Text, which is easier to name it for voice recognition.
- Before putting your contact names and numbers in the phone app, delete all the sample text that is already there.
- To send whatsapp messages the screen must be enabled and unlocked, so to do that automatically you need the watch to be set as trusted device in Smart Lock and enabled accessibility permissions in the phone settings.
- The phone needs Internet access to be able to parse the voice command on the watch (either wifi or mobile data).
- On Xiaomi Phones it seems that Google Smart Lock does not work for WearOS devices, therefore Wear Text will not be able to activate the phone to send WhatsApp messages or make phone calls.
- Especially if the language you speak is not English, the voice recognition on your watch may not recognize the contact's name correctly. If this happens try changing the contact's word to something more easily recognizable.
- In recent months the Google Assistant function to launch an app by saying "Open (app name)" has also been "capped". I recommend customizing a physical button to launch Wear Text (Auto Text), or configuring it from the "Button Launcher" app. You can also launch the app from Wear Voice Opener which would be an alternative solution while waiting for the official one. This app is described below.
Fit Strength Training: (Installation method 2)
Update May 11, 2021: Unfortunately, the latest Google Fit update has broken this solution. Google has completely removed the old strength training code.
Application that restores the strength training functionality (weight machines, dumbbell exercises...) that was removed from Google Fit for Wear OS in November 2020. This functionality very accurately detected repetitions and automatically recognized the exercise you were performing based on the repetitive motion you were performing. It was also possible to time the rest times between sets. Now the new Google Fit, for strength training, is only limited to track heart rate and cardio points, also showing on screen the time and the stopwatch. More info about this.
Alti-Barometer: (installation method 2 and 3)
Application that collects every 5 minutes the atmospheric pressure and altitude in real time. It also shows a graph of the atmospheric pressure and altitude of the last 6 hours and notifies in case of possible storm in the place where you are according to the acquired meteorological data.
AOSP WIFI Keyboard: (installation method 3)
Application with which you can write on the watch from the computer, I explain in detail in the section "Using an alternative keyboard" of first post. This app was not created for Wear OS, but it is fully functional.
Spotify Lite MOD: (installation method 3)
Spotify Lite is a reduced version of the official application in terms of size and features, however it is only intended for android phones. This version is modified and adapted to small screens such as watches with Wear OS and also, unlike the official version of Spotify for Wear OS, you can play music without depending on having the official app on the phone. It is not a player to listen to music that you have inside the watch, only to listen to streaming music.
Download here. The latest published version is based on Spotify Lite v188.8.131.52.
How to install them on the watch:
- The applications that are indicated to be installed ONLY with the second method of the three methods currently available is because the specific component for Wear OS is inside the specific application for the phone, it is explained how to install from that method in the section "Install applications from the phone (Wear Installer) of first post, for now you can also install from the official way of the 2nd method.
1. From the phone, click and download from the links of each app (only those that are for the 2nd method), and install.
2. On the watch, open Play Store, and click on the "Apps on your phone" option.
3. There you should see the app you installed on the phone. Finally you install it and that's it
It is not useful to install these applications from third method because if you do it, the version for the phone will be installed on the watch.
- The applications that are indicated to be installed ONLY with the third method are those that are NOT optimized for Wear OS because they were created for phones, but work without problems on the watch. It is explained how to install from that method in the section "Install apps from a computer (ADB commands)" of first post.
- The apps noted that can be installed interchangeably with the second or third method are those that are optimized for Wear OS.
Why are they not on the Play Store?
Because Google does not approve this kind of apps, for example, Fit Strenght trainig recovers a function that google removed (I still don't know why).
Watch Faces from the Play Store that I like
When it comes to customizing your watch the watch face you display on the screen is of utmost importance. It should fit your personal style, display the information most important to you and look good. Personally I like watch faces that have a clean, minimalist style and are easy to use, and at the same time are functional and I can customize them with the complications I use the most. There are many in the Play Store these are the ones I like the most and that more than meet the conditions outlined above, and all are free.
Note: Complications are the non-interactive widgets that are implemented inside the watch faces, for example, a distance traveled indicator is a complication.
Looks Watch Faces (Download here).
It is a collection of 9 types of watch faces for different tastes and daily needs. You can fully customize the complications. Personally I like the Portions and Quoti models the most.
Moods Watch Faces (Download here).
Another collection of watch faces from the same developer that Looks for different styles and same level of customization.
A/D Watchfaces (Download here)
It is characterized by combining an analog watch with a digital watch. It supports up to four complications, You can configure the font and colors, also has several numerical designs.
Pixel Watch face - Minimal pixel style watch face (Download here)
Minimalist design, optimized for the greatest possible energy savings.
How to install Watch Faces on the watch:
From the watch:
1. Open Play Store, search for the watch face and press install.
2. Press and hold the current watch face and swipe to the right until you see "add more watch faces".
3. Select the new watch face and customize it.
From the phone:
1. Make sure the phone is connected to the watch.
2. Open Play Store on the phone, search for the watch face and press install.
3. In a few seconds the watch face will appear on the watch, and finally customized
Wear OS watch accessories
There are few types of accessories for watches, these are reduced to protective items (screen protector and case cover), charging items (cables and charging docks) and straps.
- Screen protector: Consists of protecting watchface by resisting scratches and accidental bumps. These protectors can also prevent fingerprints or grease or dust stains on the dial. The ones that offer the best protection are those of tempered glass with 9H hardness.
- Case cover: This is a flexible TPU protective case to protect the bezel and case of the watch from scratches and possible shocks.
- Charger cable: Unlike android smartphones where the cable is the same for all models (microusb or USB type C) the same does not happen in smartwatches where each model has its own connector on the charging cable, even within each brand, for example, the Ticwatch Pro charging cable does not serve to charge the Ticwatch Pro 3.
- Dock (charging base): It is basically a charging cable with a support where the watch is supported. They usually have a minimalist design that will look good on any desk or nightstand.
- Strap: Replacing the strap is to give a complete facelift to the watch, a good combination can give a touch of extra style to your watch, in the market there is a lot of variety because most of the models allow to replace the strap with another as long as they have the same width. Below I put a table with the width that corresponds to each model of the most notable watches, for example, Ticwatch Pro 3 supports 22mm straps. Within the types of strap, by the material with which they have been manufactured you can find leather straps, imitation leather, stainless steel, titanium, platinum, silicone, resin, rubber, textile, nylon and ceramic.
Where and how to search for a watch accessory?
The Asian market such as AliExpress is the one where you can find the widest variety of accessories with the best price, on Amazon you will also find accessories but as a general rule although you will receive the product before they are more expensive.
To search for a particular accessory and narrow the search to the maximum, just type in the search box of AliExpress, Amazon or even Google accessory name + watch model. In the case of straps you only have to write the width of the strap, you can even include the type of strap material to narrow down much more what you are looking for.
Accessories for Ticwatch Pro 3
Screen Protector --> https://www.aliexpress.com/item/100...exp_id=c43d3fd5-4faf-45f6-ad60-78d5a3543b5c-0
Case Protector --> https://www.aliexpress.com/item/100...exp_id=38c5e981-ce88-4786-8a99-5873ff98db3b-1
Charging Dock --> https://www.aliexpress.com/item/100...exp_id=07669828-db64-4aa2-96c8-aa80200b4567-2
Charging Cable --> https://www.aliexpress.com/item/100...exp_id=53d63e1c-b909-4345-93ea-26e2ccbb0532-1
Strap 22 mm --> https://www.aliexpress.com/item/400...xp_id=f975d777-8fb1-4067-8ab9-921ef29176bb-19
Bonus Track. How to make a homemade charging and data cable for Ticwatch Pro 3
The official TW3 charger cable unusually only charges (it has 2 pins that only serve to charge the watch), it does not sync data unlike the Ticwatch Pro, Ticwatch S or Ticwatch E that its official charger cable has 4 pins (2 for charging and 2 for data transfer). For most users this will never become a problem, since sending music and files to the watch can be done without problems via Wi-Fi, however, there is something that can ONLY be done via USB cable, and that is to unlock the bootloader (previous step needed to root). Currently the way to root has not been discovered, although there are already users researching a way to get it and when you get the way a data cable will be required. Curiously there is still no such cable for sale for the TW3 that I know of, not even on AliExpress.
There are users who have managed to make a homemade cable using the Ticwatch S/E cable as a base. Here is the explanation provided by @Gitanitos for those who want to try:
- Purchase a Ticwatch S/E charger cable, you can get it on Amazon or Aliexpress without any difficulty, here a link to purchase.
- Open the Ticwatch S/E charger cable housing by cutting the plastic around the pogo pins, this way you will lower the profile of the housing so that the pins "reach" the watch.
- Remove the magnets that are glued to the case and place them on the reverse side. This is because they do not match the polarity of those of the TW3 clock and if you do not change them you will not be able to place the clock because the reverse attraction will prevent you from placing it on top of the pins.
How to stay informed about Wear OS.
To be informed about Wear OS and the different Wear OS watches there are certain known media where they publish first hand news and leaks, which I spread here:
9to5Google.com - I think it's my favorite, a lot of news and leaks are published here first.
XDA-Developers.com - Very interesting, it also publishes firsts about Wear OS.
Google Help Community - Wear OS - Google makes official announcements from here.
How to solve doubts about Wear OS.
Of course in this forum, and specifically in this thread you can solve any doubt about Wear OS, but there are more places to solve questions.
XDA-Developers.com (Wear OS Development and Hacking) - This forum, fantastic but not very active.
reddit.com - Wear OS - The U.S. forum is undoubtedly the most active one.
Google Help Community - Wear OS - Wear OS Official Forum
mobvoi.com - Ticwatch Official Forum
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS LTE and TicWatchGTH - Group with more than 150 members, as any group of this type is chaotic, good place to ask questions and receive a quick answer, although not always satisfactory, actually.
Wear OS - Wear OS public group. More than 1200 members.
The Official Mobvoi TicWatch and earphones Group - Private group. Mobvoi makes its official announcements and firmware update notifications here first. More than 6000 members.
Ticwatch Pro Community - Public group on Ticwatch with more than 1500 members.
Wear OS by Google - Wear OS official twitter account.