Upgrade Android Wear 1.5 watch to Wear 2.0

This procedure assumes a Linux computer plugged in via USB to the Android Wear smartwatch.

  1. on your computer

     sudo apt install android-tools-adb
     sudo usermod -aG plugdev $(whoami)

    then reboot

  2. get the android.googleapis.com-hosted update .zip. Don’t download from random websites! Do not unzip this zip file (you can look inside, but we’ll be using the original .zip file
  3. on the Wear watch, Settings > About > tap Build version 7 times to enable Developer mode
  4. in the Developer Mode menu, enable ADB debugging
  5. plug your watch into your computer via USB and type

     sudo adb devices

    you should see the reply

     > <serial number> device

    if it says something else, see the “troubleshooting” section at the bottom of this page.

  6. type

     adb reboot bootloader

    the watch immediately goes to bootloader mode with tiny print

  7. tap the left and/or right arrows on the watch screen until “recovery mode” is in red, then tap the circle on the watch screen
  8. swipe DOWN (not left or right) until “apply update from ADB” then swipe right
  9. on your computer

     adb sideload ~/Downloads/<your watch file>.zip
  10. your watch will take several minutes to verify update package and patch system image unconditionally. Don’t worry if the watch says “log error”. You may need to reboot from the watch menu when it’s done.
  11. The watch reboot will take about 3-4 times longer than normal. Just be patient. It will finally say “android is upgrading apps”


    For step #5 sudo adb devices

  • if it says offline: reboot your computer and unplug/plug your watch via USB to the PC
  • if it says no permissions be sure you have used try typing

      pkill adb
      sudo adb devices
  • if it says unauthorized then unlock your watch lock screen and take OK when asked if you want to give debugging permissions

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