Samsung has released a new version of the Galaxy Watch Designer (GWD), the one-stop platform that lets designers build custom watch faces for Samsung smartwatches. The new version, v1.7.0 (Beta) comes with tons of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes. You can download the latest edition of the GWD from Samsung developers website (link below).
The GWD 1.7.0 (Beta) adds a number of new features to the the platform. The Run Preview feature now comes with a "watch preview" option, which lets developers to see how their watch face looks on real device right from run preview. Also, the feature has been redesigned and added directly to main window. Samsung has categorized Run controllers into 3 Tabs "Watch", "Health" and "Weather", and has added more run controllers.
Developers now get a wider editor space, thanks to the reduced window size of Components and Properties. Samsung has also added movement effect for placement, rotate, opacity tag expression. In another major change, Samsung is replacing Google location API with HERE Map API on GWD 1.7.0 (Beta).
The new version, however, compromises on a few features from previous versions. GWD now only supports 64bit Windows. Java requirement for windows is also changed from 1.8 32bit to 1.8 64bit or higher, though JDK 11 gets support. Furthermore, support for Tizen version lower than Tizen 3.0 has been removed. This means support for Gear S, Gear Fit2, Gear Fit2 Pro, and Gear S2 has been dropped. To carry on developing for these devices you need to remain on GWD 1.6.2. Low Color Always-on-display (AOD) mode has also been removed.
Bug fixes include forward and rewind, as well as loop issue in timeline. The issue of Sweep effect not working on devices has also been resolved. The GWD 1.7.0 (Beta) also brings fixes for some minor issues with AOD, Text Component, Bitmap font, and various other bugs. You can read the complete changelog in the official release note (link below).
As always, there exist some known issues which Samsung would be trying to fix with subsequent releases. Mac OS users would want to completely avoid Command+Q hotkey as it makes program exit without asking to save current job. It is a Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) issue and we're hopeful of Samsung to fix it soon. GWD 1.7.0 (Beta) fails to show text in bold, though the bold text will work fine on an actual device. Also, you might need to recreate distributor certificate as Samsung has updated all of its recent watches to Tizen 4.0.