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Smartwatches go open source

Smartwatches get even smarter with this new open source operating system


Until now, the open source community has largely been left behind when it comes to the world of smartwatch operating systems. With Google and Apple leading the charge in this field, there’s been little competition, and any independent launches have been heavily restricted in what they can do. However, we now finally have a choice with the launch of AsteroidOS.

Developed by Florent Revest, AsteroidOS is the first true open source distribution that’s been specifically made for smartwatches. In its current state, AsteroidOS contains only the bare minimum of functions. So things like a calculator, stopwatch and calendar are all ready to use, but many of the smartphone connection features we’ve become accustomed to are not.

Adoption rates are still in their infancy, and Revest has been quick to state that the project will move at a much faster speed once more developers are working on it. Currently, owners of the LG G Watch and LG G Watch Urbane have full access to the OS, but as long as your bootloader is unlocked, porting it over to other devices isn’t a difficult task. The kernel source is built around libhydris, which allows the re-use of Android drivers.

Initial tests on the AsteroidOS software have proved positive. On videos uploaded to AsteroidOS’ official Twitter account, videos have shown off many of its core apps working. Speeds are quick, crashes are infrequent and there’s plenty of on-board customisation on hand. Keen developers can go hands-on with the code that Revest and his team have uploaded to GitHub. There’s scope to build applications from scratch and directly implement them on your smartwatch, and even change the way that your hardware performs. Due to the open source nature of the operating system, users also have the tools to adopt the OS for use on various other wearables. So perhaps a VR version of AsteroidOS could be with us down the line.

Visit the official AsteroidOS website for a full overview of the project, where you’ll find a guide to installing the OS on to your device, and also GitHub where you can check out its source code for yourself.