Developers Are Trying To Port Android Wear To The Gear S3

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Samsung's Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier are a pair of great smartwatches just as they are, to be sure, but those who like to tinker with every electronic device they get their hands on or have one of those two smartwatches and want to try out Android Wear will want to keep an eye on a project on XDA Developers, headed up by a user who goes by the handle of Honestly Annoying. While Android Wear is not ready quite yet and may well prove impossible, Honestly Annoying has found the kernel source for the two watches' Exynos 7270 processor, along with pre-rooted firmware files that weren't meant to leave Samsung's offices. The kicker is that Gear S3 owners can flash these pieces of firmware and enjoy root privileges.

The kernel source, meanwhile, can be used to reverse-engineer the bits and bobs of the Gear S3 lineup to start work on building out custom ROMs for it. Samsung is notorious for generally keeping their kernels and device drivers to themselves, which results in situations like all Qualcomm variants of the Galaxy S7 still having no way to unlock their bootloaders and no support for custom ROMs. With the kernel source in hand, the XDA community has what it needs to dive into the Gear S3's firmware files and try to create port-friendly code and device drivers. Should this process go off without a hitch, building an Android Wear ROM for the Gear S3 family will be a simple matter of compiling an Android Wear firmware file with the drivers and proprietary blobs involved. Unfortunately, it's quite a bit harder than it sounds.

Honestly Annoying made no secret of the fact that it would take a lot of work to get Android Wear working on Samsung's venerable smartwatch family, and asked for help developing from anybody who was willing. To that end, they have uploaded all of the relevant files onto Google Drive, and will be keeping an updated codebase on GitHub. Naturally, all are welcome to have at the code and attempt to reverse engineer it, but trying to create a product to sell or otherwise profit from the code is likely to attract negative attention from Samsung.

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