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Samsung Developer Program

Develop Watch Face Apps

 

Note: In August 2018, Samsung Gear became Samsung Galaxy Watch. Information referring to Galaxy Watch also applies to earlier Gear devices and apps, unless stated otherwise. 

Develop Watch Face Apps
Watch face apps are displayed on the home screen of the watch. Although the clock is the watch face app's main functionality, you can display other information such as sensor data (e.g., heart rate, accelerometer). You can customize a watch face application by designing your own style and providing other information, such as news headlines and weather information.

This section describes how to create a simple watch face using the Galaxy Watch Designer (formerly Gear Watch Designer) tool and an API-based watch face app on the Tizen platform using Tizen Studio. You can include in-app purchase (IAP) items on your Galaxy watch face. 

Galaxy Watch Designer

The Galaxy Watch Designer tool is a one-stop shop for designers who want to develop and distribute their own watch faces. This tool is available for Windows and Mac users only.

To learn more about and download the Galaxy Watch Designer tool, click here.

To develop watch faces using Galaxy Watch Designer, start here.

Tizen web and native app development

See Tizen Studio and Web API Example for information about how to develop a watch face app on the Tizen platform.

The Tizen platform supports two primary application types:

  • Web apps are Internet-enabled apps that are accessible through the mobile device’s web browser. A web framework provides state-of-the-art HTML5/W3C APIs, web UI framework, supplementary APIs, and additional Tizen device APIs. Web has strong portability, ease of app development, and has a minimal learning curve.
  • A native framework supports full-featured native application development and provides a variety of features such as background service and image and face recognition. Native apps use the native API, which provides all of the memory management and performance benefits that come with building applications for Linux in C.

For more detailed information about web and native APIs, see the following links:

Web and native applications Differences between Tizen web-specific and native-specific applications, Tizen architecture, and Tizen documentation https://developer.tizen.org/development/getting-started/overview
Web app introduction Guides you to familiarity with Tizen web API programming and application models https://developer.tizen.org/development/getting-started/web-application
Web app development Helps you create and develop your first web app http://developer.samsung.com/gear/develop/creating-your-first-app/web
Native app introduction Guides you to familiarity with Tizen native API programming and application models https://developer.tizen.org/development/getting-started/native-application
Native app development Helps you create and develop your first native app http://developer.samsung.com/gear/develop/creating-your-first-app/native

Standalone and companion apps  

A watch app that was developed using either a web or native application can be either a standalone or a companion app.

Standalone

A standalone watch app can function on its own and does not require any other app to execute its functionality.

  • Standalone watch apps may or may not need network connectivity (the calculator app is an example of an app that does not need network connectivity in order to function).
  • Standalone apps can also handle authentication on the watch application.

Companion

Companion apps consist of two apps working together. One app runs on the watch, and the other is an Android app running on the Android device.

  • Most companion apps use the phone's connectivity to communicate to the cloud. If the watch is no longer connected to the phone, it can use its own Wi-Fi connectivity (or 3G) to talk to the cloud. 
  • Watch companion apps can take advantage of Android companion apps to get user credentials. 
  • Samsung provides a Samsung Accessory Protocol (SAP) library (Samsung Accessory SDK), which can be downloaded separately. SAP library has all the APIs necessary to handle the communication between watches and Android apps.
  • To enable host devices (such as the phone) to recognize companion apps, specific metadata must be declared on both the host Android app's manifest file and on the watch app’s config.xml or Tizen manifest file. For more information, see: http://developer.samsung.com/gear/develop/creating-your-first-app/web-companion/configuration

In-app items

Within watch apps (companion or standalone, web or native), you can sell commercial in-app items (such as virtual items, increasing levels of play, advanced app features) by integrating In-App Purchase (IAP) functionality.

Gear_InAppItem_Purchase_UI.png

For more information, see the Galaxy Watch In-App Purchase Items section.

Additional information

Screen capture

You can capture and review any watch screenshot. After transferring them to a connected compatible Android smartphone (including any Samsung smartphone), you can download screenshot files and use them for your app development and marketing purposes. 

To capture, review, download, and delete screenshots:

GalaxyWatch_CaptureScreen.png

To capture a screenshot

  1. Navigate to the screen to be captured.
  2. Press and hold the Power (lower) button.
  3. Swipe the display from left to right.

Screenshots are saved in the Gallery app.

GalaxyWatch_ReviewScreenshots.png

To review captured screenshots

  1. Press the Power (lower) button.
  2. If your watch has a bezel, rotate the bezel to scroll through the available apps and select the Gallery app.

    If your watch is bezel-less, tap the arrows to scroll through the available apps and tap the Gallery app to select it.

  3. Tap the Gallery app icon to launch the Gallery app.
  4. Tap the screenshot thumbnail to view the screenshot.

 

GalaxyWatch_DownloadSingleScreenshot.png

To download a single screenshot

Position your phone near the watch so that the watch and phone can connect via Bluetooth.

  1. In the Gallery app, navigate to a screenshot and tap the More Options icon.
  2. If your watch has a bezel, rotate the bezel to select the Send to phone icon. Then, tap the icon.

    If your watch is bezel-less, tap the Send to phone icon to select it. Then, tap the icon again.

  3. Tap the checkmark to connect the watch and phone over Bluetooth and start the download.

 

GalaxyWatch_DownloadMultipleScreenshots.png

To download multiple screenshots

Position your phone near the watch so that the watch and phone can connect via Bluetooth.

  1. In the Gallery app, navigate to a screenshot, then tap it to select it.
  2. Press and hold the screen, then swipe left or right to scroll through your screenshots, selecting the ones you want to download. A selected screenshot is surrounded by a blue circle. Also, the number of selected screenshots is displayed.
  3. Tap additional screenshots to download.
  4. Tap the More Options icon.
  5. Tap the Send to phone icon.
  6. Tap the checkmark to connect the watch and phone over Bluetooth and start the download.

GalaxyWatch_DeleteSingleScreenshot.png

To delete a single screenshot

  1. In the Gallery app, navigate to a screenshot and tap DELETE.
  2. Tap the checkmark to delete the screenshot.

GalaxyWatch_DeleteMultipleScreenshots.png

To delete multiple screenshots

  1. In the Gallery app, navigate to a screenshot, then tap it to select it.
  2. Press and hold the screen, then swipe left or right to scroll through your screenshots, selecting the ones you want to delete. A selected screenshot is surrounded by a blue circle. Also, the number of selected screenshots is displayed.
  3. Tap additional screenshots to delete.
  4. Tap DELETE.
  5. Tap the checkmark to delete the selected screenshots.