After a dozen watch faces developed, I’d like to discuss a couple things about animations. I am absolutely convinced that good animations can make the difference, and i used many animations in my watchfaces: for a screen on effect, for a recurring animation or for a continuous animation. Here’s what i noticed (many things are scattered around the threads, so I’m trying to discuss everything in one place):
- the 15 fps limit is not THE limit: WFS has a cap of 15 fps for each and every moving elements, hands included. This limit doesn’t exist on watch faces developed natively, so, theoretically, it could be changed. There’s surely a reason for it (battery consumption? memory budget?), but 20-25fps would look waaay better.
- WFS 1.3.13 had smooth animations (yep still 15 fps), while the current version (both stable and beta) has laggy, slow and choppy animations. Like others did before me, I created 2 watch faces containing the same elements and the same animation (a “screen on” animation). The difference is very noticeable, sadly. I had to remove the animation because it made the watch face look really low quality (and in this case, it made the difference, but in the opposite direction. It displayed 5-7 frames out of 20 total frames ). Also, I couldn’t publish the watch face for the well known memory budget thing, but there’s an entire thread about it and I won’t digress on this.
- the “screen on” animations are supposed to transition the AOD mode to the normal mode. In my experience (on any WFS version) I can see the normal screen, and then the animation starts. This breaks the illusion. I had to use a transparent png as the thumbnail of the animation, because it would cover a big part of the screen if displayed in the preview.
- last but not least, a feature request I wrote weeks ago: I’d really like to have the ability to animate any element of the UI, even choosing an interpolator maybe. I can already do it if I use the right tag in the position slot for example, but I have little to no control on when and how the animation plays.
Of course, I love WFS and I believe in the project, so I’m trying to give useful feedbacks instead of empty criticisms.
On Last point can you turn any animation to an element instead of any elements into animation.
E.g create a animation and use it as a second hand. Via tag expression
Then the triggers of normal animation is still in used
Kinda, but I still have no control on when the animation starts and the result, on the current version, is far from acceptable from the user’s point of view
I thought got theses option
Tap , Every Sec , Every Min , and Every Hour
On the animation settings
I did the sample animation…
It rotates on the second hand axis. So it behave as a second hand. It only starts when i tap. It stop after one cycle as i didnt set auto replay.
Anyway more control should be applied to animation
Like tap to stop or control start and stop via tag expression
But this “cheat” doesnt work on complication
I believe 1.4.x had some improvements in animation but I think there is one report that is fixed internally but not yet a release version of WFS.
Are you doing your testing on Wear 4 device?
I think 15 FPS is because it is good balance between smoothness and battery usage. At least I sort of remember that with the GWS for Tizen days.
Samsung Developer Relations
I tested it in 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5, and 1.3 is way smoother, sadly. And nope, I have a Ticwatch pro 5 so i still have Wear OS 3.5 (maybe Wear OS 4 handles the animation differently and works better? Nevertheless, I can’t ignore the fact that many users still have Wear OS 3).
15fps is “good enough” but the sweet spot could be 20fps, in my opinion. I know that in native Android development one can animate a property of an object also selecting an interpolator and the animation runs at max fps, but this probably doesn’t apply to watch faces (even if watch faces like Pujie contain really smooth animations, surely 30+ fps).
Anyway, the point of the thread is to highlight the importance of the animations and better understand the actual state of the art. Sadly, the priority still is the “memory budget” thing
I think you need to change your strategy… Don’t go crazy with animations or things like that…
For example, these are the Watch Faces that Play Store highlighted as “watch faces of the week”:
I obviously don’t want to criticize the work of other designers but Google doesn’t seem willing to valorize the hard work of developers…
On the Play Store there are tons of counterfeit brands like Rolex (etc), minimal designs that can be created in 10 minutes with Paint on Windows and other stuff from 5 years ago.
I think that Samsung should realize that these Watch faces and others highlighted on the Play Store will direct users to choose other brands…
We are light years away from the quality that Tizen offered at the time of the Galaxy Store…
Just my thoughts after 7 years of experience…
Animations are a great idea but Google seems to prefer Watch Faces from 10 years ago.
Samsung, what have you done!?
And watching Keynote speakers at SDC23 go on and on about Tizen just made me cringe. So important but not!