Upgrade Android Wear 1.5 watch to Wear 2.0

Note: Upgrading to beta Android Wear based on Android Oreo 8 is done OTA (over-the-air) by simply requesting Android Wear beta access. Approval is instant for LG Watch Sport W280 users in the USA.

This procedure assumes a Linux computer plugged in via USB to the Android Wear smartwatch. It describes upgrade to Android Wear 2.0 based on Android OS 7.1.

  1. on Linux computer

     apt install android-tools-adb
     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. on the Wear watch: Settings > Developer Mode > 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 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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