Guest post by Alexander Goncharov of Daragon Technology
Watchland started back in May of 2016. One of the days, I was looking through Facebook, specifically through the Gear S2 group, and I noticed that many people were sharing free beautiful watches. I decided I’d like to give back to the people, and at the same time try to address a frustration everyone had (including me) with Samsung’s Gear Watch Designer.
I decided to sit down and analyze a GWD file in depth. I found out it has quite a decent structure, with a resources folder, its own manifest, as well as an XML file of the watchface. I spent many days coding the app full-time (quite literally from 8 am to midnight), and after a few weeks, my first beta version was ready to go.
Over the next few months, Watchland greatly expanded (to over 10000 installs in total) and became harder to upkeep. I am the only person working on this project, and there were many difficulties along the way. The first problem was the rising costs of databases and file hosting. I solved this first problem by rewriting the databases my app uses to my own databases as well as file hosting. The next big problem Watchland is actually currently facing is Samsung blocking the Gear app because of copyright violation.
Right now, I am working on a companion website to Watchland. I found the sharing of GWD files to be a great thing, but I think an even better direction for the app to move in (and one that might be even more popular), is a way to customize the faces a bit. The website will be available on February 4th. You can visit it at http://watchland.ca.
It will take around a month to be completed. Some sections are already complete, but the big portion, and the part where you can customize the face, are still not done. Users can message this Facebook page for feedback and they are invited to like it so they can keep up with the latest updates.
The new Watchland will keep the same great GWD downloading feature that the previous version had. The added bonus, however, will be the ability to customize the face. For example, you could use an elegant dark blue brand background, and add watch hands from a different face in a few seconds. The website will intelligently point you to the watch hand colour that goes best with this face.
One other big thing in the upcoming website, and something I would need some help from the community to do, would be to help change the brand logos on the faces. Samsung did not like the face that copyright material was on its app store, so I need help from our wonderful community to mitigate that by changing the logo wording: Breitling could become Brutleng for example. That way the Gear app will be able to go back on the Gear Store.
I am really happy about all the positive feedback about Watchland, I am excited that I was able to reach out and improve the lives of many people around the world, and I would like to invite everyone to stay tuned to the wonderful things coming soon.