Android Wear 5.1.1 OTA Downloads
The much anticipated Wear update that brings wrist flick gestures, a new launcher, and wifi support is now rolling out to wearables far and wide, though staggered releases never come fast enough. Luckily, we have you covered with a series of direct download links for immediate consumption! The zip files for each model are still making their way to Google servers as we speak, so let the following guide serve as your always-up-to-date resource for cutting the update queue and being the first to flash the Wear 5.1.1 OTA!
Before we dive into the links themselves, it’s worth recapping why this update is even worth the hype. Here’s how Google lists the features:
- Always-on screen, always-on apps: Most Android Wear watches include an always-on screen—no tapping, twisting or shaking required to see what time it is. Now we’re expanding this option to apps, so they can stay visible as long as you need them, instead of disappearing when you drop your arm. Perfect for running, navigating, or grocery shopping!
- New launcher & Wrist gestures: Now you can access your apps and contacts by simply swiping left from the watch face. Android Wear also now responds to specific navigation gestures so you can scroll between cards with a simple flick of the wrist. Learn more with our YouTube video.
- Draw emojis: In response to texts, instant messages, or emails, you can now send emojis to your contacts by drawing them on your watch screen. The watch will recognize the emoji you drew and send it via whichever messaging app you’re using. Give it a try by selecting “Draw emoji” whenever you’re replying to a message!
- Heads-up notifications: Incoming notifications like text messages will now appear on-screen even when you’re looking at something else on your watch, like directions or fitness stats, so you won’t miss anything important.
- Switching watches made easier: The Android Wear companion app now lets you pair your phone with more than one watch at a time – ideal for swapping watches to match your style.
- Change your font size: Want to see more text on your watch screen? Or less? You can now adjust the font size from your watch’s settings.
- Lock your watch’s screen: Want to lock your watch’s screen when you’re not wearing it? Turn on the new “Screen lock” feature from your watch’s settings. When enabled, if your watch detects you’re not wearing it (or it loses the connection to your phone) for a period of time, then your specified swipe pattern will be required to unlock it.
Perhaps the most exciting feature, though, is the one listed next: wifi. No longer will your watch be rendered useless by walking across the room sans smartphone. Most Wear watches to date use the same wifi-toting chipsets as their smartphone counterparts, and in fact this was part of the “future-proof” marketing when several of them launched. Sadly, only four watches are currently slated for the feature: the LG Watch Urbane, Motorola Moto 360, Sony Smartwatch 3, and Samsung Gear Live. Apparently the G Watch R won’t live up to its stated potential until forum devs pull the shoe out of LG’s mouth with an unofficial fix.
How to Flash
Flashing zips is old hat to many developers here on the XDA Forums, but Wear throws in one or two kinks that we will get to in a moment. To start, you’ll need developer options enabled on your watch, ADB debugging turned on, and your PC set up to issue commands. Basically, the usual check list at the top of every forum thread. Next, it’s time to boot your device into recovery mode and select “Install Update From ADB.” The process here varies from watch to watch, so it’s worthwhile to check the forums if you’re having difficulty entering recovery.
This is where the fickleness of Wear kicks in – sideloading OTAs may require a physical connection between watch and computer. Not all watches have a handy plug (I’m looking at you, Moto 360), so you may need to break a few seals and rig your own connector. Such is the price we pay for getting updates a day or two early. Once your device is connected (and visible from the command line), flashing is as simple as typing “adb sideload filename.zip”. Enjoy!
Without further adieu, here are the OTA downloads direct from Google for your flashing pleasure.
Motorola Moto 360
- Download coming soon, but installing won’t be easy. The process of sideloading involves physically connecting your watch to the computer, and this means cracking open the 360 and home-brewing a cable. The task is not insurmountable, and this guide will be updated when the time comes, but you might be better off waiting for Google’s OTA push.
LG G Watch
LG G Watch R
Samsung Gear Live
- Download coming soon!
Sony SmartWatch 3
- Download coming soon!
LG Watch Urbane
- Why are you still reading this thread? The Urbane shipped with 5.1.1, so go out and enjoy your wifi tethering!
Did this process work for you? Has another link surfaced that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check back often for updates throughout the week.
Want more posts like this delivered to your inbox? Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.