While there are a few open source alternatives to Android, there are not many wearable open source operating systems. AsteriodOS is one project that is trying to give you an option in this niche.
AsteriodOS: open source operating system for smartwatches
AsteroidOS is an open source smartwatch operating system. It runs a customized Linux kernel version using the industry-standard OpenEmbedded project.
It is built keeping privacy in mind. It gives more control over the operating system so that you can hack it as per your device and as per your choice. Thanks to libhybris library, AsteroidOS provides compatibility with Android Wear. QT5 is used for developing applications for AsteriodOS.
Here’s a video that highlights how it looks and works:
This community-driven open source project is still in development but if you like to experiment, you can download the source code and install it on the supported smartwatches.
Installing AsteroidOS on your smartwatch
It may not support all the latest smartwatches available but it does have a list of supported or tested smartwatches on which you can try it on. Some of them are:
- ASUS Zenwatch 1/2/3
- LG G Watch Urbane
- LG G Watch R
- LG G Watch
- MTK6580 chipset powered watches
- Ticwatch E&S
- Sony Smartwatch 3
You just have to head on to their official website to find out the list of supported watches and click on the appropriate device to get the instructions for installing it via ADB/Fastboot along with the links to nightly builds.
While normal users should refrain from trying their hands on AsteroidOS yet, developers and hobbyists are welcome to contribute to the project. In fact, the AsteroidOS team needs more volunteers to contribute. If you are interested in contributing to this open source project, please see this page.
You may also visit their GitHub page to look at the source code:
Is it different from other wearable operating systems?
Well, just like I mentioned, it focuses on privacy and security. So, if you are someone who is willing to hack their smartwatches in order to get rid of the OEM operating system and services, this is for you.
It is not something that I would recommend for regular smartwatch users – because there’s nothing extraordinary here except from the fact of being an open-source and secure alternative. If you want an out of the box experience, take a look at open source smartwatch PineTime that costs just $25.
What do you think? Does it have what it takes to become the open-source alternative of Android Wear? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.