Android Wear 2.0 was announced at Google's 2016 I/O event, with it set to come out later this year. If you don't want to wait, you can grab it straight away by running Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview.
By Christopher Minasians
If you’ve got a Huawei Watch or somehow got your wrist on a LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, you’ll be able to install Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview on it straight away.
A developer preview is made for those wanting to emulate apps on a watch, so that they can test new features. However, if you’re feeling brave you can also flash it on your watch.
A word of warning:Due to it being a developer preview, you should be prepared to face instability and potential crashes.
Currently there are only two watches that support Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview, the Huawei Watch and the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition.
We do expect more watches to be compatible as time goes by, such as the LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R, ASUS ZenWatch 2, Moto 360 2nd gen, Fossil Q Founder, Tag Heuer Connected, Moto 360 Sport and Moto 360 set to receive the Android Wear 2.0 update. We aren’t sure if and when they will get the 2.0 Developer Preview before its official launch later in 2016.
How to get Android Wear 2.0: download the system image
Warning: Flashing your watch with a new system image will remove all data from the watch. Ensure you have backed up or are prepared to lose your watches’ data.
By flashing the device you will be also required to unlock the bootloader, potentially voiding your watch’s warranty – proceed at your own risk!
To download the preview image, you should head over to
Google’s download page for the most recent system image. We would suggest downloading the ‘Preview image for testing’ version, as the ‘Non-preview image (for after testing)’ will restore your watch back to a non-developer version.
After you’ve downloaded the preview, you should check its MD5 or SHA-1 checksum by using a file checksum integrity verifier, such as the one freely
provided by Microsoft or
HashTab. This is to ensure that the download hasn’t been corrupted, potentially causing problems when you’re flashing it on your watch.
How to get Android Wear 2.0: set up the watch to be flashed
As a reminder, flashing a system image will remove all data from the watch.
From your phone you’ll have to unpair/forget your watch. Once done, go ahead and enable ADB debugging within Developer Options on the watch itself.
To do this go to Settings > Developer Options (If it’s missing tap About seven times) > ADB debugging.
How to get Android Wear 2.0: install the fastboot tools
To flash a system image, you’ll need to have the fastboot tool in your platform-tools/ directory within your
Android SDK. Be sure to have the latest version of Android SDK Platform-tools from the
How to get Android Wear 2.0: put the system image on your watch
From your downloaded image, unzip the file and plug in your watch using the included USB wire to your PC. If for any reason the drivers or watch isn’t recognised by your PC, try a different USB port.
Having Android SDK, use the
adb command ‘adb devices’ (without the quotation marks) to list the watch on your PC. An adb command is the same as opening CMD, also known as command prompt on Windows devices. On Windows platforms we suggest copying across the CMD application to the extracted zip folder and then opening CMD as an administrator.
Then type: ‘adb reboot bootloader’ to reboot the device into fastboot.
If you need to unlock the device’s bootloader, type: ‘fastboot flashing unlock’ or if that doesn’t work try ‘fastboot oem unlock’. This will wipe your watch’s data.
Your watch should now have an unlock option. Click it to unlock the bootloader.
Back on the PC, find where you unzipped your system image file and look for the ‘flash-all’ script. You’ll want to execute it by typing ‘flash-all.bat’ on Windows and ‘flash-all.sh’ on Mac.
After you’ve executed the script, your watch will reboot and you’ll be able to pair it with your device. After it has rebooted, you can disconnect your watch from your computer.
How to get Android Wear 2.0: installing apps on your watch
If you want to install apps on your new Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview watch, you’ll need to re-secure the bootloader.
To do this, go to: Settings > Developer Options (re-enable it by clicking ABout seven times) > Enable ADB debugging.
Then you’ll want to reconnect your watch to your PC, using the USB cable and then tapping on Always allow from this computer.
Then follow the adb command to put the watch into fasboot mode by typing: ‘adb reboot bootloader’ and then lock the watch by typing fastboot ‘flashing lock’ or ‘fastboot oem lock’.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll see that on your watch you’ll be prompted to boot the device by pressing Start and then touching the ‘0’ displayed.
How to get Android Wear 2.0: remove the developer preview
If you want to get off the Developer Preview, simply follow the exact same steps as above. However, this time around use the ‘Non-preview image (for after testing)’ version when flashing the script.