April 13, 2020

New life for LG G Watch

The LG G Watch (Codename dory) has been around for a while and being always on the hunt for a great new companion (great battery life, notifications, water-proof or resistant, not asking for much), i thought it'd try out current options.

First contestant is AsteroidOS, based on OpenEmbedded/Yocto, it provides a google-free operating system and supports the dory quite well. Unfortunately no gadgetbridge support (it comes with its own companion app via F-Droid).

The installation is straight-forward (and well described), once you know to use a recent version of ADB and fastboot and how to enter fastboot when adb reboot bootloader is not working: a swipe from top-left to bottom-right on the "LG" bootscreen :)

  • Enable ADB within current Android Wear (usual 7-click on build number to enable developer options)
  • Issue adb reboot bootloader to enter fastboot (or use swipe as described above)
  • Unlock bootloader via fastbook oem unlock) (also possible via on-screen menu)

Then the instructions say to make a backup of the current (stock) firmware, but lack to explain how.

The only way of creating a backup that i found was via custom recovery TWRP.

I flashed it via fastboot and this will permanently overwrite the current recovery firmware

fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.0.0-0-dory+squashfs.img

Another option would be to try booting it directly

fastboot boot twrp-3.0.0-0-dory+squashfs.img

Then once booted into recovery (via fastboot mode + touchscreen), keep system readonly, select backup and select the partitions boot, userdata, system.

Still in recovery, but on host system in order to get the backups once done:

adb pull /sdcard/TWRP/BACKUPS/

Then its the normal install instructions

  • fastboot flash userdata asteroid-image-dory.ext4
  • fastboot flash boot zImage-dtb-dory.fastboot
  • fastboot continue

First impression:

Another option for the watch is an unofficial build for Android Wear 2 - was easy to install and worked ok-ish (high battery drain, no HW button as required by Android Wear 2), but you get the whole google ecosystem as well. So not really an option.

So maybe for another post, a new contestant emerged: PostMarketOS!