Wear Weekly: Backing Up a WatchMaker Library

March 25, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

While Apple Watch owners have to make do with a device that is not only sluggish and doesn’t really look like a watch at all, but also bland with few watch face options, we Android Wear users have it much better. Not only is the Play Store awash with excellent-looking watches for all tastes and styles, but we have apps like Facer and WatchMaker. These make it incredibly easy for someone to create their own watch faces, and for others to download and swap watch faces to their heart’s content. WatchMaker is my personal favorite, and has become the favorite for a lot of people as well. With a great Google+ community and sites like Facerepo offering up excellent watch faces from all over the world it’s easy to say that we’re awash with choice. With the Galaxy S7 having just launched and the LG G5 just around the corner – as well as announcements from HTC next month – users will no doubt be thinking of upgrading. The question is, how can we take our collection of WatchMaker faces with us?

To be clear, there is documentation provided on the official WatchMaker Wiki, which states that copying the “BeautifulWatches” folder from the root storage on your device and then replacing it should back everything up. I recently changed devices, and I tried this method at first. Sadly however, I was left with garbled watch faces – such as the below example – which is clearly not a Tag Heuer lookalike, or even a complete watch face of any sort.

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So, I opted for the other approach, which was to use the share function inside of WatchMaker itself. This exports the “.watch” files themselves, essentially reversing the process that occurs when you import a watch face from the web or elsewhere. This is really easy to do, and all you need to do is go ahead and find the watch face you want to back up and then hit the “share/export” button, and you’ll be provided with some info.

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I’m a little obsessed with shamefully turning a computer into a Swiss-lookalike, which means I’ve amassed a decently-sized collection of watch faces. As I was exporting all of these watch faces, it struck me that this is going to be a painful process. So, I went ahead and set up a Google Drive folder – you can use whatever you want for this, of course – and upload them to that folder when I exported them. Thus giving me a folder of all my collected “.watch” files ready and waiting for me to download on whichever device I’m using at the moment.

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You could further simplify the process by getting an app to automagically upload the “export” folder found with WatchMaker’s “BeautifulWatches” folder to cloud storage, but this way I end up with more control over my collection. When all’s said and done, I had my collection of watch faces back where I wanted them, and I’ll continue to use the export and upload method to make sure that I don’t lose these excellent watch faces again.

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The WatchMaker community is an excellent one, and one that has provided me with some excellent watch faces. I might not always interact too much with these talented folk, but I owe them a big thank you. Without these watch faces and WatchMaker in the first place, I’m not so sure I’d be as enthusiastic about the wrist-mounted computer I wear day-in, day-out. For those interested, one of the best places to get in touch with the WatchMaker community – and yes, find some excellent watch faces – is the Google+ community here.