Clock gets a homebrew makeover with theming and exhibition mode | webOS Nation

Clock gets a homebrew makeover with theming and exhibition mode 31

by Jason Robitaille Sun, 15 May 2011 12:12 am EDT

The built-in webOS Clock app has had an interesting, if uneventful history. It was bundled along with the webOS 1.0.2 update, appeasing all the "where's the alarm clock?!" cries.  Since then, not much has changed. Sure, there's a new "Classic" theme with webOS 2.0, and there's the secret preference options, but it's fundamentally an app not too many care about or use.

Myself, I'm part of the minority who love the Clock app and use it regularily. So when I had the opportunity to work with 2 amazing homebrew clock theme makers, I took it.  And so for the past few weeks, myself, warlord9159, and kdubhotsauce have worked together on giving the Clock app some new style.

First off, I'm proud to announce the immediate availability of the full-featured, WebOS Clock Theme Builder. Palm designed the Clock app with expandability in mind. So using this theme framework and some symlink trickery, I've created a hombrew clock theme format, harnessed by the theme builder.

Just specify a theme base (or go completely original with your own), then customize the clock theme with your own images. It's simple, and best of all, clock themes created with this format are OTA friendly and no system images are overwritten (as system theming is notorious for). Find out how-to do it all after the break.

With the WebOS Clock Theme Builder, warlord9159, and kdubhotsauce made some incredible themes. In fact, to date they've created 21 impressive themes, all available for installation on a new ipkg feed that you can easily add to WOSQI and Preware. Just add a new feed entry with this URL:

Then all current and future themes will appear in WOSQI/Preware in the Themes section. Chances are there will be at least one that will catch your eye. And if you've created a theme of your own, contact me and I'll add it to the feed.

So now you've got a new clock theme and want to show it off? To help with that, I've created 2 patches that together once installed will add the Clock app to the exhibition mode dropbown list. A nice way to add a flavour of style and customization to a clock while on the touchstone.

Interestingly, it appears Palm may have had similar plans for webOS 2.0.  While working on the patches, I accidentally looked through the 2.0.1 ROM at first (meant to look in the 2.1.0 ROM) and noticed that there appears to be some dock mode code included and 5 new themes! They've since disappeared with webOS 2.1.0, but provide an interesting insight into Palm's thinking. And while I can't legally redistribute those themes, it's not too difficult to use the theme builder and a 2.0.1 webOSDoctor to make the themes yourself.

There you have it: new looks for the clock, and a new touchstone-based usage for the clock. It's not groundbreaking, but it is a fun, creative, and safe way to style an aspect of your device. If you'd like to show your appreciation, consider a donation to myself, warlord9159, and kdubhotsauce.

Update: A bug with webOS 1.4.5 compatability has been discovered and is being worked on. For now, it'll be webOS 2.x only, folks.


It's SO slick, Jason! Once again, you're the man! Thanks so much!

Not workin for me. I'm on a Pre- running 2.1. Any suggestions? I've tried adding the feed 3 times now.

Same setup, worked for me - did you go to Available, Theme, then find the Clock category? I didn't see them in the "All available" list.

I've tried 3 times to add the feed to preware and it adds, but when refreshing feeds it errors. :( wish preware supported a paste option to paste in the url.

I'm having the same problem. Sprint Pre- on 1.4.5

I sent the link to myself in a text file, and copied and pasted that into the URL - worked fine.

OK, W OS C T B of the WebOS Clock Theme Builder are capitals and it's %20 as in percent twenty. Do all of that and it works.

For me it only worked if I selected 'No' for 'Is compressed'. I had already entered the address exactly as specified (though HTTP is case insensitive, so it shouldn't matter.)

I tried to install the .ipk file on my Pre+ 1.4.5, got an error message and now clock app does not work. Is there a way to reverse without doctoring?

The .ipk file should work just like a theme file or even an application file. For me, go to WOQI and click device management and uninstall under programs.

That's just it, it told me it couldn't install, now it shows up in WOSQI, now says it cannot uninstall.

WebOS 1.4.5 users, please hold off from installing any themes yet. I'm investigating reported issues. xylos555, please post in the WebOS Clock Theme Builder thread what your specify error messages are when installing/uninstalling.

Ditto here.

For webOS 2.x users only, for now.

It was not clear in the article. I did end up running the WebOs repair utility, that took care of it. Thx for all the hard work, hopefully the OS fragmentation won't be a problem much longer.

Well, originally it was supposed to work in 1.4.5, but as a total of 0 people on 1.4.5 in my beta group tested it, I was unaware of a bug that is currently affecting 1.4.5 users. Should hopefully have it fixed this week though :)

Thanks Jason, warlord9159, and kdubhotsauce!!!!!!! U da bomb!

Working!! Love it!!! Haha Jason you are the man!!

Hope they put an article on the home page of precentral when this is ready for the pre- version of webOS!

As stated in the comments above, there's a bug in webOS 1.4.5 compatibility. This is all being done for free by a single developer and there's been a total of zero donations. A little patience is appreciated while I fix legacy device support.

Patience you will receive! You do an awesome job and the community is blessed to have you in it! Thanks for all the hard work!

Thanks! I am in no hurry I just hope I hear about it when it is ready. I really only read the home page articles.

I really appreciate what you guys are doing to improve webOS!

I had no problem copying and pasting the URL for the feed into Preware.

When I installed a clock theme I got and error and now the Clock won't start.

Error was:
-1: Unable to run command: IPKG_OFFLINE_ROOT=/media/cryptofs/apps /bin/sh /media/cryptofs/apps/usr/lib/ipkg/info/ 2>&1
ln: /usr/palm/applications/ Operation not permitted
** Message: serviceResponse Handling: 2, {"errorCode":"ErrorGenericMethodException", "errorText":"Service Method Exception: org.json.JSONException: Unterminated string at character 57 of {\"action\":\"add\",\"id\":\"blue-glow-clock-theme\",\"name\":\"Blue"}

Seems like more testing is in order.

As stated in the comments above, there's a bug in webOS 1.4.5 compatibility. A little patience is appreciated while I fix legacy device support.

Sooo...does anybody have any brief step-by-step on how this works? Cuz I'm still in the baby stages of my "geek-ness" lol

Jason - You may want to move your update up further in the article so that the acknowlegement of a 1.4.5 compatibility issue can be seen from the main PreCentral page. Just a suggestion.

Great work here.

For those having errors... make sure you have a "." (dot) and not a "-" (dash) between "themer" and "googlecode". A couple of people have made that mistake.

Jason- thanks for this!!

Yo Jason! Sorry didn't get to test this out. I'm still running on 1.4.5 on my Sprint Pre. Didn't even know this was in the works!

Great work Jason! You da man! Can't wait to try it out! I'll be looking for it once the 1.4.5 bug is fixed!

Jason, I got the feed to work just fine (2.1), and I was able to theme the Clock app just fine, but I can't get the two patches to work at all. I've been manually starting Exhibition because I don't have a Touchstone handy, but that shouldn't matter, right? I don't see the Clock app in the drop-down as you described in your thread in the forums.

A couple of questions: This only themes one app . . . Is it possible to theme Clock when another theme is in place? I ask because I had Garrett's CarbonOS theme installed and then installed a Clock theme. When I looked in Preware it only saw the Clock theme, even though Garrett's theme was working in all other apps.

I loaded the .patch files using WebOSQI, but I can't see them as installed in Preware. Is this OK?

I uninstalled the only Exhibition-related patch I was running . . .

One more thing: I have the Twithibition app installed. Is there a conflict?

Sorry for all the questions, but I can't get Clock to work in Exhibition for the life of me!

I've had problems on and off with the original clock deleting my alarms. Sure, I like to sleep in as much as the next guy, but...

Why include a buggy piece of software that should be very easy to do a good job with?

Of course, those guys still can't make an "all day" event sync with MS Outlook. So, I guess a clock that works is asking too much.

(treo 600, treo 750p, Pre-, then what?)

Jason has this working now. Check out the forums