AsteroidOS: An Open Source Alternative to Android Wear
Android Wear, the OS specialized for running on smartwatches, has changed the way we perceive wearables. From early-hardware gimmicks to actual, indispensable devices that improve our workflow and productivity, smartwatches have created their own niche in the Android ecosystem. They even extend beyond Android, thanks to the likes of Tizen and iOS, offering consumers a choice in hardware and software if they so desire.
But, what if you want an OS on your hand (quite literally at that) that is entirely open source? What if you wish to have complete control over how your data is handled, how your watch behaves and how easily and quickly it is updated? What if you simply want to escape the clutches of big name corporations and go for something that is much more community oriented and not hungry to know everything there is to know about you?
Well, now you do have a choice. AsteroidOS is an open source operating system, designed to be run on smartwatches.
Developed by Florent Revest, AsteroidOS is a flavor of Linux for smartwatches. The OS is still in early beta stages, and as such, only has basic smartwatch functions and features like a calculator, calendar, stopwatch and heart rate monitor and cannot replace Android Wear as your daily driver completely.
Even when it comes to support, AsteroidOS can currently run on the LG G Watch and LG G Watch Urbane, but the developer proposes that it may not be too difficult to port it to other watches as long as you have an unlockable bootloader and a kernel source as AsteroidOS is built on libhydris that allows re-use of Android drivers.
— AsteroidOS (@AsteroidOS) December 24, 2015
While on the face of it, AsteroidOS may not be an Android Wear competitor right out of the box, the potential is certainly there. Being completely open source, the OS derives its popularity from community adoption, so the more developers behind it, the faster the project grows. Since you can read and compile the code that does it all, you can be more confident of how your smartwatch handles your data. You can build and test new features and applications, and put into use your hardware in ways that are not currently imagined by smartwatch makers. Being open source, there is also a distinct possibility of adopting and re-using this OS for other wearables like smartglasses as well.
You can visit AsteroidOS’s website for more details on the project as well as for download and install procedures. Alternatively, you can also view their source code on GitHub, or look at other ways to contribute to the project.
What are your thoughts on AsteroidOS? Let us know in the comments below!