17 Pebble Watchfaces
vanous edited this page 2 years ago

This page is about apps running on your Pebble, also called „Watchfaces“.


Where can I find Watchfaces?

You can find them on many places. The official source for watchfaces is the corresponding section in the Rebble store: Watchfaces. There you can browse through a large collection of watchfaces and, following the button on the end of each watchface page, download them via the „Download PBW“ button:

  1. Open the Rebble Store
  2. Find the app / watchface you want to install, and open its detail page
  3. In the browser's address bar, add ?dev_settings=true to the page's URL, so it looks e.g. like this: https://apps.rebble.io/en_US/watchfaces?dev_settings=true, and load this page.
  4. Scroll to the end of the page. There you should find an additional link now, labeled "DOWNLOAD PBW". Use this to download the app/watchface.

There are also several free and open-source watchfaces you can find here at Github. The Gadgetbridge team e.g. recommends:

How do I install them to my Pebble?

Once the .pbw files are on your Android device running Gadgetbridge (either because you've downloaded them there, or copied them over from your computer), simply tap the file in the file manager of your choice (or the „Downloads“ app). A popup will appear asking you what to open it with. Chose the Gadgetbridge „FW/App Installer“, and the watchface will be installed to your Pebble. If you download a watchface directly on the device running Gadgetbridge, your browser might even prompt you to:

FM install BrowserInstall
Install a watchface from within the file manager / install it directly from the browser

How do I manage installed watchfaces?

Once you've installed a watchface, Gadgetbridge will cache it. So tapping your device in Gadgetbridge (when it's connected) brings you to the app manager. Long-tap (alias „tap-and-hold“) the entry of an app will bring up a context menu with available actions:

App Manager WatchApps WatchFaces
Gadgetbridge App Manager with open context menu

The App-Manager is divided in three tabs. Left to right from the screenshots: Apps in cache (i.e. apps you've installed via Gadgetbridge, but which you also might have uninstalled meanwhile; Gadgetbridge keeps them in its cache until you explicitly remove them from there), Installed apps Gadgetbridge knows about (i.e. system apps and those you've installed yourself via Gadgetbridge), and Installed watchfaces (again those shipped with your watch and those you've installed yourself via Gadgetbridge). With FW 3.x Gadgetbridge cannot know anything about apps or watchfaces you've installed by other means (e.g. using the official Pebble app, or using another Android device), as this firmware offers no way to query that information: the official Pebble app manages that via the cloud.

Except for in the first tab, you also can rearrange the order apps and watchfaces appear in – in the App Manager as well as on your Pebble: tap and hold an entry, move it around, and drop it where you want it to be shown. Long pressing and releasing the Health app you can activate or deactivate Pebble Health data collection on your Pebble (e.g. when switching between different trackers like Morpheuz and Pebble Health).

As the first screenshot shows, you can also reinstall an app (in case you've deleted it), delete it from the watch, or delete it from the watch and the Gadgetbridge cache. If the app has a configuration page, you can call that from here as well: it will most likely open in a browser window, from where you submit your configuration values directly back to the corresponding watch app. Some watch apps however use a protocol the browser doesn't understand:

Protocol Error Paste URL New config
Configure a watch app using an "unknown protocol"

As the screenshots show, your browser will then display an error page. Long-press the URL shown and select to copy it to the clipboard, then close the browser (first screenshot). Back in Gadgetbridge, paste that URL into the field shown, and hit the button to parse the URL (second screenshot). After that, you have the choice to directly send the parsed data to the watch app to configure it, or to save it as a "preset". The latter saves you from running the entire procedure again: if you want to use the configuration you've saved as preset, you can just select that directly when calling the "Configure" item next time.

Btw: a single tap on a watchface in Gadgetbridge will start it on your Pebble – saving your from button-juggling.

Why do some watchfaces not work fully?

There are some restrictions to consider. Remember for example that Gadgetbridge comes without the Internet permission (for privacy reasons) – so watchfaces won't be able to access the internet through it. That means weather data can't be retrieved by them (see here for our solution to that) – and things like e.g. the TripAdvisor app cannot do anything useful.

That's by design – and before you ask: No, Gadgetbridge won't get the Internet permission added. For your own sake (and so you can trust us not to send your data somewhere into the cloud). There might be an Internet-enabled companion app (or addon) one day, though. To work around that, you could use watchfaces that have another Android companion app which comes with the Internet permission. Unfortunately, there are security implications with all of them: don't blame the devs for that, they're innocents. Put into simple terms: as the watchfaces are installed on your Pebble (and not on the Android device), Android cannot assing them specific permissions – and thus they need to use less secure means of communication. Details behind the link.

How to get control of orphaned apps?

Maybe you have started to use Gadgetbridge while there were apps already installed on your Pebble? Because Gadgetbridge only can take control of apps which were installed via Gadgetbridge the only way to remove apps or to configure them by Gadgetbridge is to download them again on your Android Device and to install them again via Gadgetbridge.