Upgrade to latest Android Wear Oreo

This procedure assumes a Linux computer plugged in via USB to the Android Wear smartwatch. It describes upgrade to Android Wear 2 based on Android Oreo for supported devices.

Note: normally, Android Wear watches upgrade over Bluetooth while charging. The procedure below is only for those who know they need it.

  1. on Linux computer
    apt install android-tools-adb
    usermod -aG plugdev $(whoami)

    then logout/login

  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

    serialNumber 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”
  12. After verifying latest Android Wear is installed, disable ADB debugging by on the Wear watch: Settings → Developer Mode → disable ADB debugging


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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