For those of you reading this that didn’t know, I am the extremely proud father of two awesome, tiny humans. I am also a connoisseur of high-quality cartoons. I grew up in the ’80s so the bar was set pretty high. LOL. Jokes aside, my kids and I enjoy finding cartoons old and new that we all enjoy watching. Like watching a blockbuster movie with friends, enjoying cartoons with your kids creates a bond on a very unique level. It doesn’t hurt that I act like a kid most days but seriously, there are a lot of great animated shows out there that hit on so many levels and offer up meaningful entertainment for the entire family. Avatar the Last Airbender is one of my favorite examples of this phenomenon. It’s a personal favorite and my kiddos enjoy watching it nearly as much as I do.
One of our favorite shows to watch as of late is a much more recent smash hit out of Australia called Bluey. If you are the parent of a young one, chances are high that you’re familiar. In just two seasons (Here in the states. Aussies have the pleasure of being on Season 3.), the pint-sized blue heeler Bluey and her younger sister Bingo have taken the Disney channel by storm and become a global sensation. If you haven’t watched it, you should. Bandit, Bluey’s dad, is one of the most relatable adult figures I’ve ever seen in a kid’s show and his popularity led to the creation of a Facebook group strictly for for-real-life “Bandits” around the world.
What started as a fan group for Dads has grown to more than 12,000 members and it has become a place where men, young and old, can find real answers to the everyday issues that so many of us face. For example, I’m currently polling the community on which pellet smoker I should purchase. Other guys come seeking advice on a much deeper level and there is always plenty of support handed out in times of trial. Without going deeper, let me just say that this group is a safe haven inside a social media platform that is generally filled with so much negativity and disdain. Anyway, I’m not getting preachy. It’s just a really awesome group full of awesome people.
All that to say, it was in this Bandit group where I was scrolling the other day and saw something that caught my eye. One of the dads had shared a video of his Samsung Galaxy Watch and it was playing various Bluey gifs every time he tilted the watch. I was mesmerized. I generally customize the complications on my smartwatches and occasionally, I’ll even set a photo as my wallpaper but I honestly did not know that you could use animated images for your backgrounds. Now, this may not be news to you but I thought I’d share a quick how-to in case you weren’t privy and you’d like to try it. (You don’t have to use a kids’ show for your gifs buy your own kids may get a kick out of it. Just saying.)
Samsung Galaxy Watch animated wallpapers
So, there’s no big secret or special hacks to do what my new friend Anthony Z. did in the video above. What you’re seeing is the My Photo+ watch face from the Galaxy Wearable app. This watch face allows you to set your own custom background photo or photos. If you use a single image, your background will be static. If you set multiple photos, your wallpaper will change every time the screen wakes or when you tap the display. This is the watch face we’re going to use to get the gif wallpapers on our Galaxy Watch.
Now, you can access this watch face from your watch by long-pressing the current watch face and scrolling through until you see the cute little cat in the image above. However, you have to add your images from your phone so this is just easier if we do everything there inside the Galaxy Wearable app. First, you will need your phone and your Galaxy Watch. Both should be on and the Bluetooth enabled. Next, you will need the gifs that you’re planning on using for your watch face. You can open Chrome on your phone, do an image search for your desired gifs, and long-press them to save them to your phone.
Next, head to the Galaxy Wearable app and select “Watch faces.” Then, scroll down to the “Basic” section and scroll over until you find the watch face named My Photo+. It’s the one with the kitten. Click it and wait for your watch display to update. Now, you should see that watch face at the top of the Watch face screen on your phone. Click the button to the right that says customize. Here, you can change your complications, select your clock type and pick custom colors.
There is also a tab for backgrounds and this is the one you want. Click that tab and select the Gallery icon. You can use the camera if you want to take a photo or even create your own gif but that’s for another day. Click the Gallery icon and you should be presented with all of the photo folders on your phone. Find the ones that you downloaded and select them all. Once you’re finished, click Save at the bottom of the screen and you’re all set. The gifs should now load as your background images on your watch. To test it, wake your watch display and tap anywhere on the wallpaper. The image should cycle to the next one in the gallery.
To get the effect in Anthony’s video, you’ll need to head to the settings menu on your watch. Find the Display menu and enable “Raise wrist to wake.” This will wake the display when you tilt your watch towards you and the gif will change each time you do it. One thing to note, these are animated images, and doing this will certainly affect your watch’s battery life. Still, I’ve kept mine on all day and still had a good 30% left when I put it on the charger. Mileage may vary. So, there you go. That’s how a kids’ show changed the way I use my smartwatch. It’s a cool little trick and a very unique way to customize your watch. Special thanks to Anthony Z. for sharing the video.