Project OpenWatch takes first big step: TWRP now available for Kingwear-based smartwatches
When we talk of modularity, we often visualize multiple hardware components working together harmoniously as a single unit. What often gets overlooked is the important role that software plays in such modular systems. This is where initiatives like Project OpenWatch come in, aiming to provide software that can be used across a wide variety of smartwatches.
Project OpenWatch is the initiative undertaken by BLOCKS, who came into the limelight for their modular smartwatch. The goal of this initiative is to make a fully open source OS so any smartwatch that can have AOSP builds or be ported to AOSP can have a fully functional Watch OS.
For this project, the teams involved chose MT6580 Kingwear based smartwatches since the AOSP port was already underway thanks to BLOCKS. The project took a first big step with the release of a unified TWRP for Kingwear based watches. The list of smartwatches on which this TWRP build is confirmed as working includes:
- Kingwear KW88, KW98, KW99
- BLOCKS Watch
- Look Watch
- Zeblaze Thor, Thor S
- Lemfo LES1
- IQ I2
- Diggro DI01, DI07
Installation for this recovery is also rather straightforward. Users have to utilize SPFlash Tool to install TWRP on their watch, by making use of the linked scatter file. Once the recovery is installed, use adb commands to reboot into TWRP.
With the release of this unified TWRP, the first step for Project OpenWatch is now complete. The team is now working towards bringing up Android 8.1 Oreo from 8.0, and this stage is about halfway complete. Work is also underway to customize AOSP to fit onto the watch screen. Once these are done, the team will work towards releasing Android Oreo 8.1 based customs ROMs such as LineageOS, CarbonROM, DU, and more. We’ll be sure to report on further developments in this project.