The Amazfit Bip is an amazing smartwatch, but it has its own restrictions like you cannot attend calls, reply to messages or sideload apps. Well, you cannot do anything about calls and messages. But, what you can do is change the watch face, enable smileys, remap the single button to trigger the camera, control music, etc.
Plus the more you dig in it, the more you discover. So, after a couple of weeks of usage, I found out some great tips and tricks which overcome these restrictions and moreover take the usability to another level. On that note, here are some amazing tips & tricks for Amazfit Bip.
Amazfit Bip Tips & Tricks
1. Activate Smileys
Amazfit Bip has great sunlight legibility. Whether you are outdoors, playing on the field or inside your office, the display is on point. Additionally, you also get notifications on the watch. The only downside is, it cannot display smileys or emoticons. Now you do that by installing custom firmware which is the hard way around.
Or rather use paid third-party app like Notify & Fitness for Amazfit which will flash the custom firmware for you. But I took a slightly different approach. I used GadgetBridge which is a free open-source alternative for the Mi-Fit app. I downloaded these Big Fonts from XDA. Now, just open the Files app and navigate to the font-file (.ft) using Gadgetbridge. Gadgetbridge will offer to install the font on the device and this would keep your firmware intact and still do the job.
This font, however, won’t display the smileys but it converts them into readable text format or character. This is a neat workaround and below is how the smileys look like.
2. Customize App Notifications
The Mi-Fit app allows you to set up notifications for every third-party app. However, it doesn’t drill down and let you filter these notifications or customize them. So, you can use this app called “Alert Bridge for the Amazfit”. It lets you filter out notifications based on text. In case, I don’t want to receive those spammy facebook emails about whom to follow. So, I set the filter to weed out Emails that contain the text “Facebook”. Additionally, you can also set up the app to translate the emojis in ASCII text.
Download Alert Bridge
3. Custom Watch Faces
The Amazfit Bip has a lot of inbuilt watch faces that fairly look good. But, in case you want a change you can always fall back to third-party apps. Xiaomi has given the option to upload third-party watch faces in the Mi-Fit app. There are a number of watch face apps for the Bip. You can try the Amazfit Bip WatchFaces or My WatchFace for the Amazfit Bip app.
In case you have made your own watch face or downloaded one from the Internet, you need to apply it manually on the watch. Here is a detailed guide on how to install watch faces downloaded from the Internet.
4. Control Camera
Courtesy to the single crown button on the Amazfit Bip, you can use it to click pictures. However, this option is not provided within the Mi-Fit app. You would have to use a third-party app called Mi Band 2/3 & Amazfit Selfie. This lets you map the single button to be used as Remote Camera Shutter. The only bargain is that it works with certain camera apps like Circle Camera, Night Selfie Camera, Bacon Camera, and Free Camera. For a detailed how-to guide, read our detailed article on how to set up your Amazfit as a remote camera button.
5. Control Music Player
Another awesome utilization of the crown button is a music player controller. You can even do that using the Amazfit BIP Assistant app. It lets you remap the single click, double-click, and triple-click to pause/play, next & previous action respectively. It works for all the music player apps as well as the YouTube app. The only caveat is that the single click won’t function as the back button now.
6. Modify Shortcuts & Gestures
Just to lay it out, if you swipe left on the Bip Screen it shows you Alipay & Weather. If you swipe down, you get the DND Mode toggle. If you swipe up, you have the uncleared notifications. The single click on the crown works as the back button or you can alternatively swipe right to go back to the menu. Now, most of these actions can be customized in the Mi-Fit App. You can modify the right swipe action to either show Weather or AliPay.
By default, when you long-press the button, it starts Outdoor running activity which should do good for most of us. However, you can customize that to start a different activity or power off the device according to your preference. This can be done through the watch’s Settings menu.
7. Maximize Battery Life
If you are someone who seldom exercises, this trick could do wonders. The battery life mostly depends on the watch face you are using. If you stick to the stock watch face, it will give you a significant boost in battery life. If you use watch faces that have too much information, the band needs to update that information periodically. Suppose, you are using a watch face which shows you battery percentage, step count, calories burnt, heart rate, and temperature on the screen. Now, this watch face would require all these data simultaneously from the sensors to keep the watch face updated.
Comparatively, a watch face that shows only the step count doesn’t need much data and would keep the background activities to minimal. On top of all these, the Amazfit Bip also has an always-on LCD display. So, the minimal watch face would save you a huge amount of battery life.
8. Third-party Apps
Mi-Fit has a great card-based interface design and is the most intuitive smartwatch app. But the only problem is it hails from China and there is a high risk of data being leaked. So, if you have privacy concerns, you can altogether quit the Mi-Fit app and still use the Bip. You have the open-source Gadgetbridge app which lets you use the Bip without the Chinese intervention. You can also install custom firmware and fonts on to the Bip using the app.
Another great app is the Tools & Amazfit which gives you a detailed insight into the Band’s data. It is a paid app and will cost you around $4. The only downside to this app is that it needs Mi-Fit to be installed and paired with the Bip. But it provides a lot of additional features like remapping the crown button, controlling music player via the Bip, custom watch faces, etc. Alternatively, you can also try the Notify & Fitness for the Amazfit app. It’s free to download with certain advanced features being paid.
9. Use with other Workout Apps
Amazfit Bip is a great activity tracker but it doesn’t have inbuilt training options. For instance, I am training for a marathon and I use the Nike Running Club app to chart my training plan. You might be using some other workout-tracking app. Now, these apps let you attach external Bluetooth trackers like a heart-rate tracker, cadence tracker, etc. So, I have linked my Amazfit Bip to the Nike Running Club app as a heart rate tracker.
You can do the same in Strava and other workout apps as well. This enables the apps to use your Amazfit Bip as a heart-rate tracking device.
These were some of the neat tips & tricks possible due to third-party apps or the Mi-Fit app. Amazfit Bip is a great fitness band considering the $70 price tag. You get a band laid out with sensors like Barometer, GPS, GLONASS, Compass, etc. Plus the amount of third-party app support and custom firmware takes the usability quotient to the next level.
Let me know in the comments below some of the nifty tricks that you use with the Amazfit Bip.
Also Read: Honor Band 4 vs Mi Band 3 – Which is Better?