Design dynamic watchfaces for Pebble on your Android phone
Friday, 7 March 2014
Pebble 2.0 is here... and so is Canvas 2.0!
You may have noticed that Canvas hasn't been updated much over the last few months. That's because I've been working exclusively on the Pebble 2.0 version. Thanks to everyone who has been beta testing Canvas over that period, it is ready for release. There are lots of cool new features made possible by Pebble SDK 2.0, as well as several months worth of bug fixes and improvements!
The first thing to say is: The existing 1.x version of Canvas will not work on Pebble 2.0 (and the 2.0 version of Canvas will not work on Pebble 1.x!), so make sure that you upgrade both your Pebble (Android app and firmware) and Canvas.
You've been asking for it since the first release, and it is now possible... you can see your watch battery status in Canvas (find it under Time/Date/Pebble status)! 2.0 Also allows you current screen to be stored persistently on the watch, so that it can be displayed without loading from your phone after you switch apps/faces and return to Canvas (note: image storage is not supported).
SDK 2.0 also allows the freedom to dynamically allocate memory. What that means for Canvas is that more layers are allowed (up to 25!) and images can now be animated (animation duration can also be set, and more directions are available). This has also enabled the addition of analogue clock layers, and the really cool inverter layers!
Layers can now be dynamically re-sized based on content, allowing the creation of some really cool effects (see the Inversion example screen for a demo).
Share and discover: The Canvas Screen Store!
Built right into Canvas, you can now see hundreds of screens that other users have designed - and you can upload yours for everyone to see.
Ignore the built-in screens - the Screen Store is where to really see what Canvas can do (i.e. Canvas users are better at screen design that me!)
You can deep-link to Screen Store entries to share them with your friends.
App or Face?
You now have a choice: install the Canvas watch-face, or the Canvas watch-app. The face is the the classic Canvas, but the app instead appears under the Pebble main menu (i.e. it's not a watchface), and allows interaction.
In 2.0, when the app version is installed, you can switch between Canvas screens right from your Pebble using the up/down buttons.
Yahoo! is now the default provider for Weather data (you can still choose OpenWeather), and lots of new weather fields have been added (including today's forecast, Beaufort, and lots more). You can also enter a fixed location via name or lat/lon.
You can choose to hide all-day/started calendar events, and some new fields have been added (e.g. calendar name).
Lots more information about your phone is now available: Current WIFI status (with image option) including SSID, GSM/CDMA signal strength (also with image option, not for all phones) and network state, and your phone ringer state (with image)
All bundled images (including weather and phone state) are now vector-based, meaning that they should scale better to your chosen size. They are also all now 1-bit black/white, just like the Pebble display.
The Pebble preview on the editor screen can now be enlarged, and you can also now place layers overlapping the edge of the Pebble screen.
The editor window is tabbed to better navigation, and there is also now a copy layer function to save time. You can also enter longer format strings in the editor to allow for conditionals (the text layer length limit on the watch has not changed).
The screen preview has been optimised, and you will also now not lose your changes when you rotate your device!
Lots of them...
More robust communication between the phone and watch
Display weather when temperature is 0f
Image aspect ratio lock improved
New crash reporting (now automatic, not email-based)