Spinner user manual


Changing settings
Frequently asked questions
Data fields
Weekly steps/floors graph
Activity bar
Live HR
Date format
Sunrise and sunset
Alternate time zones
Status icons
Power save modes
Unlocking premium options
Venu support


This manual describes all features of Spinner, but the availability of specific features may depend on your watch model. If you don’t find an option in your settings, this means that this option is not available on your watch. In particular, Venu works quite differently from other models, so some topics discussed here (e.g ‘Power save options’) are not applicable. For more details on Venu operation, please refer to Venu support section.

NOTE: The screenshots may not reflect the most recent look of Spinner, they will be updated over time.

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A configurable digital face with:

  • 10 customizable themes (themes 3 to 10 require unlock key)
  • 4 configurable gauges/data fields with key metrics (options depend on what your watch supports)
  • flexible date format
  • next sunrise/sunset times and moon phase
  • 2 additional time zones
  • weather info (requires unlock key)
  • ‘time only’ battery saving mode that can automatically kick in for the night or be activated by ‘do not disturb’
  • weekly steps graph with min, max, current and average labels
  • HR or atmospheric pressure graph with min, max, current and average readings (requires unlock key)
  • Status icons – phone connection, do not disturb, notifications, alarms

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Changing settings

If you are not familiar with adjusting Connect IQ app settings, please have a look at: https://forums.garmin.com/developer/connect-iq/w/wiki/14/changing-your-app-settings-in-garmin-express-gcm-ciq-mobile-store

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Frequently asked questions

For advice on frequently asked questions please have a look at https://vgfsyhcxft.wordpress.com/common-problems/

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Data fields

Data fields are located above and below the center time box. They can be configured to show different types of information:

  • Data field 1 (below date) – sunrise and sunset times or two alternate time zones
  • Data field 2 (next to date) – activity bar or weather
  • Data field 3 (below time) – weekly steps graph, 4h atmospheric pressure graph, 4h HR graph or 2 alternate times with zone labels. Changing the settings in this field requires unlock key and some options are not available on some watch models.

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Weekly steps/floors graph

The graph consists of 8 bars, each representing daily steps or floors count, arranged by time from left to right. So the rightmost bar is growing as you continue walking during the day.

The graph is described by 4 numbers:

  • top left – maximum daily count over the last 8 days
  • bottom left – minimum daily count over the last 8 days
  • top right – today’s current count
  • bottom right – average daily count over the last 8 days

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There are four gauges that display different types of information both as a numeric value and a progress arc. The type of data available includes (depending on what the watch can support):

  • Battery level
  • Daily distance
  • Weekly distance
  • Calories
  • Active calories
  • Steps
  • Activity bar
  • Weekly intensity minutes
  • Floors
  • Next sunrise or sunset
  • Wrist HR
  • SpO2 (on supporting devices)

The type of data configured for each gauge is represented by an icon at the beginning of the gauge progress arc.

The maximum level of the progress arc is defined as follows:

  • Battery level – 100%
  • Daily distance – 1/7 of the ‘Weekly distance goal’ declared in the settings
  • Weekly distance – ‘Weekly distance goal’ declared in the settings
  • Calories – total daily calories for the declared ‘Active calories goal’
  • Active calories – ‘Active calories goal’ declared in the settings
  • Steps – Steps goal according to User Profile in Garmin Connect
  • Activity bar – 100%
  • Intensity minutes – weekly intensity minutes goal as defined in User Profile
  • Floors – daily climbed floors goal as defined in User Profile
  • Next sunrise or sunset – time until the next sunrise/sunset
  • Wrist HR – maximum HR recorded over the past 4 hours (while the minimum corresponds to the minimum level of the arc)
  • SpO2 – 100% (minimum level 90%)

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Activity bar

This is an opposite of the ‘Move bar’ commonly seen in different watch faces, including Garmin’s own. ‘Move bar’ is 0 when you are active and it goes up to maximum 5 if you continue staying inactive for some time. Conversely, ‘Activity bar’ is 100% when you are active, and it goes down to 0% if you stop moving for a while. You can easily get an idea how it works if you enable ‘Move alert’ in the ‘Activity tracking’ settings of your watch. ‘Move bar’ grows in steps of 1 from 0 to 5, and ‘Activity bar’ shrinks in steps of 20% from 100% to 0.

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Live HR

When this option is set to ‘Off’ (default), the HR shown in the text field of a gauge is updated only once a minute. With unlock key, it is possible to select ‘On’ option (update every second), ‘Daytime’ (only during the day/awake hours declared in Garmin User Profile), or ‘On gesture’ (updated every second for 10 seconds after a wrist gesture or screen swipe/tap on some models).

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The look of this face can be changed using 10 predefined customizable themes. Two of them are free, the remaining eight require unlock key. In each theme, it is possible to change the colors of different display elements.

The choice of colors includes 14 base colors (black, dark gray, light gray, white, dark red, red, orange, yellow, dark green, green, dark blue, blue, purple, pink), and 4 custom colors identified by numbers ranging from 0 (black) to 63 (white).

The following color map gives an indication what number corresponds to which color, but the actual colors on the watch may look slightly different – in the end it might take some trial and error to find the color you have in mind.

For example how to customize a theme, let’s start with the default theme T1 which looks like this:

Change ‘Background’ to ‘Custom color 4’:

Change ‘Gauge border’ to ‘Black’ and ‘Gauge icons’ to ‘White’:

Change ‘Gauge level’ to ‘Custom color 1’:

Change ‘Graph’ to ‘Custom color 4’:

Change ‘Custom color 4′ to ’50’:

This is just an example of what you can do, there are many other ways you can modify a theme. Note how the custom colors allow you to change the color of several screen elements together.

Your modifications will be kept, so if you switch to another theme and back, the modified theme will look as you left it. To reset the current theme to the factory default, select ‘Reset theme’ and save the settings.

Besides the colors, it is also possible to change the background texture:

There are 10 textures, of which 3 to 10 require unlock key.

The 10 available themes provide color variations with different background patterns. For example, theme T2 uses black background and white text, opposite to T1:

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Date format

The date format is very flexible. It may require some effort to understand how it works, but it allows you to make it almost any way you like. To customize the date, enter a string of characters up to 12 in length, with this coding:

D = day number with leading zero

d = day number without leading zero

M = month number with leading zero

m = month number without leading zero

Y = 4-digit year

y = 2-digit year

N = month name

n = day name

W = ISO week number with ‘w’ in front

w = ISO week number without ‘w’

Any other character (e.g. – / : . ) will be displayed if it is available in the current character set.

For example, you can use the following formats:

“n N d”  →  Fri Aug 24

“n D.M”  →  Fri 24.08

“d/m W”  →  24/8 w34

“Y\M\D”  →  2018\08\24

“m-d-y”  →  8-24-18

“n D [w]”  → Fri 28 [34]

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This option allows to display weather information from https://openweathermap.org/ for the location from your last activity recorded by the watch.

The information shown includes weather icon, temperature and humidity.

The weather update interval is adjustable from 15 minutes to 6 hours.

Please note that the weather feature needs to know your location. If you see the GPS? instead of the temperature and the weather icon shows a question mark, go to some activity that uses GPS, like run or cycle, and get the GPS updated there. Then, when you return to Spinner, the weather should be updating at your set interval.

If after that you continue to see ‘…’ and a cloud with a question mark, this means your watch has not been able to connect to the weather service to get the update.

Also, if from time to time you see ‘conn’ message instead of the temperature, this means that the weather could not be updated because there is no stable connection between your phone an the internet.

To avoid this, make sure the Bluetooth connection between your watch and your phone and the phone’s internet connection are both stable.

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Sunrise and sunset

After fresh installation, the watch face needs to retrieve from the watch system the current GPS coordinates which are necessary for the sunrise and sunset calculation. To update GPS coordinates, just switch to an activity such as run or cycle and wait until ‘GPS ready’ message appears, or the GPS indicator turns green. Then you can cancel the activity and return to the face. The sun times should now be shown. Note that you may need to repeat this procedure after you have changed your location for the sun times to be updated accordingly.

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Alternate time zones

For alternate time option, you can set two separate time zones. The possible UTC offset ranges from -14 to +14 hours. The offset is a fractional number, so that half hour offsets can be taken care of as well. For example for India (UTC+5:30) enter 5.5. For UTC just enter 0.

In addition to the UTC offset, you can also add a text description for your alternate zones. Its length is limited to 12 characters. The text description is only shown if alternate time is selected as an option for the box below the time.

NOTE: Garmin apps tend to have problems with accepting special character input (for example minus ‘-‘ or decimal point ‘.’). To get around this problem, you can try to:

-start from the default value “-5.0” and edit it as you need, without deleting the characters that you want to keep, or
-use another app to write the offset, then copy and paste into the Garmin app.
-if you have problems with one of the Garmin apps, try another (there are 3 choices – Garmin Connect, Garmin Connect IQ or Garmin Express on a PC).

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Status icons

There are 4 status icons that appear in the 4 corners of the time box. They are:

  • Bluetooth / phone connected (Appears when the watch is connected to a phone.)
  • Notifications (Appears if there are notifications pending on the phone. For enabling/disabling different types of notifications, please refer to ‘smart notifications’ setting in Garmin Connect app.)
  • Alarms (Appears if one or more alarms are set on the watch.)
  • Do Not Disturb (Appears if the DND mode is activated on the watch.)

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Seconds can be set to always on (except on Venu), but since they are probably the biggest battery hog, there are several options provided to reduce their impact on battery life. They can be switched off completely, switched off for the night, or activated by gesture for a short period of about 10 seconds.

While the seconds are off, it is possible to display something else instead:

  • two dashes (‘–‘) as placeholders
  • activity bar
  • battery level
  • ’10s bars’ that increment only every 10 seconds. This is useful if you don’t want the battery drain caused by the always on seconds, but still want to have a rough idea where you are in the current minute

In the example below, time is somewhere between 21:02:30 and 21:02:40.

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Power save mode

In power save mode only time (hours and minutes) and status icons are displayed:

This mode can be activated permanently, for the night/sleep time (as declared in Garmin Connect User Profile), or on activation of the Do Not Disturb status of the watch.

The DND method is handy for quick toggling between normal and power save modes, if the DND switch is assigned to a hot key or present in the shortcuts menu.

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Unlocking premium options

Some of the available features require an unlock key. These options are marked by a key icon 🔑 in the settings. As of June 2020, Garmin Connect app can’t show the key icon, and it shows a question mark instead.

To obtain an unlock key please visit https://vgfsyhcxft.com/rails-unlock/

The key icon in the settings will not disappear after entering a key – this icon is meant to mark the options which require the key, not the lock/unlock status. If you try to activate a locked feature without a valid key, a key icon will be displayed on the watch instead of the time to indicate that this feature is not accessible.

When you receive the key, you need to enter it in the settings in the ‘Unlock key’ field, and press ‘DONE’ or ‘SAVE’ button (depending which Garmin app you use). Then the ‘Key status’ field will be updated to show the status and the expiry date of your key. For the key status to be updated, a good connection between your watch, your phone and the internet is required. Sometimes it may take some time for the key status to be updated, and if you are sure that you have entered the correct token, but the status is still ‘invalid’, you might try to restart the Connect App on your phone or restart your watch – this has been reported to help in some difficult cases.

FOR VENU USERS: After entering the key and saving the settings, you may need to ‘wake up’ the watch from its ‘sleep’ state (show the full watch face) for the key to be validated.

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Venu support

Venu operates in two distinct modes – short ‘wake up’ after gesture, button press or double screen tap, and ‘sleep’ otherwise. Wake up mode allows bright full screen updated every second, but in sleep mode the screen is only refreshed once a minute and the display has to be reduced/dimmed to conserve power and prevent burn-in.

Because of this, some of the features present on other models do not make much sense on Venu and so are not available:
-Options to control the display of seconds and live HR,
-Power save modes.

On the other hand, Spinner provides 3 different options for the ‘Always On’ mode display:
-Off (blank screen)
-Dimmed time (hours and minutes)
-Dimmed full display (complete information except seconds, updated once a minute)

If the background colors of the current theme are black, the Always On display will show in the theme’s colors:

Otherwise, it will be displayed in a monochrome black and white theme:

Full screen Always on mode requires unlock key.

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