Active vs. inactive vs. ambient screen

Please share:

The Bubble Cloud watch face works in three modes:

  • Interactive mode – when swipes and long presses are captured by Bubble Clouds
  • Inactive mode – when only taps are captured by Bubble Clouds
  • Ambient mode – “Always on” mode, when no input is handled by Bubble Clouds
We need the inactive mode, because that’s where the standard Wear OS touch features can be accessed:
  • swipe down for the quick toggles
  • swipe up for the notifications
  • long press to pick a different face
  • swipe horizontally for Google Assistant and Google Fit (these can be disabled in Expert settings, see below)
Opposite of these, the active mode lets you access the Bubble Cloud features:
  • open apps and other bubbles
  • swipe horizontally for the app drawer (and Quick Swipe Panel if enabled)
  • swipe vertically to show/hide peek card
  • long press bubbles to edit them
We can switch between interactive and inactive by tapping on the clock bubble. The watch enters ambient mode just like any other Wear OS watch face after a timeout.
By default the watch face enters interactive mode when you wake the watch. If you want to access the standard Wear OS swipe (and long press) action, you will need to tap on the clock bubble to exit interactive mode.
You can change this behaviour in two ways:
  1. Make the inactive mode the dominant by disabling the expert option “Priority for Active cloud”
    Screenshot_1543390940.png Screenshot_1543391113.png
    The watch will stay in inactive mode (swipes and long presses are handled by the OS) until you tap on the clock bubble
  2. Override the horizontal swipes even in inactive mode using one or both of two other expert options:

    Screenshot_1543391183.png Screenshot_1543391187.png
    If you enable these options swiping horizontally on the inactive watch face will enter interactive mode, hence overriding the default WearOS functions (Assistant and/or Fit)
Horizontal swipes in interactive mode:
  • By default swiping left to right on the watch face in interactive mode takes you to the app drawer (archive cloud) and optionally the brightness control
  • You can add a swipe area on the right to left swipe to access voice search (Google Assistant) and optionally the volume control. This is called Quick Swipe Panel in my app → video

More information

Read about the background, why the app works like this (and ways around it) in Watch Face Introduction.

Author: greg

the dev