How to Unlock Bootloader & Root Moto 360 Smartwatch

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There was a time when wearable tech of just a thing of science fiction. We could only wonder if such tech gadgets will ever turn into reality! There is an ongoing competition between different OEMs to add such gadgets to their profile. This year, we have see 3 smartwatch unveilings from LG, Google and Asus so far. Just a few month ago, Google announced the Android Wear program in the at I/O event and it was quickly followed by showcasing of a round smartwatch, the Moto 360, from the formerly Google-owned Motorola.

The Moto 360 is the first gadget of its kind with a circular display that gives it the look of a metal-framed classic wrist-watch. I own the Galaxy Gear and the Sony Smartwatch 2 and have recently had a chance to play with the Moto 360 for a couple of hours. Based on my experience, I can say that Motorola’s smartwatch is better than its counterparts.

Many of you might be wondering if even as small gadget like a smartwatch can be rooted. Well, if there is anything having Android under the hood, it’s got to be rooted. If you are a proud owner of the Moto 360 and want to obtain root access on your watch to enjoy root apps and mods, there is now a working method to unlock Moto 360 bootloader and root it using jcase’s modified boot image that pushes su binary to your device.

However, unlike other Android Wear watches, the Moto 360 is a harder nut to crack as it does not support the regular USB plug. The device uses wireless charging and though it supports ADB over Bluetooth, you cannot use Fastboot commands, unless you make  a custom cable that connects to the 5 USB pins found at the back of the Moto 360.

Warning

The procedure described below has been tested and found working, yet we do not hold any responsibility if anything goes wrong or it does not work for you. Proceed at your own risk!

Precursors and Downloads

Unlock Moto 360 Bootloader

Usually, unlocking the bootloader using a fastboot command or flashing an .img file is one of the easiest things to do on Android. However, when it comes to the Moto 360, things become a little tricky and twisted. If you have managed to make a USB cable to work with your watch, you have won 2/3 of the battle.

  1. Turn off your Moto 360.
  2. Now press and hold the Power button. Keep the button pressed until the watch vibrates for 3 times following which you will see a screen showing the Bootloader Version on the top.
  3. Connect the USB cable to your watch and make sure the connection is stable. If the device gets disconnected during the procedure, you might end with a bricked device. When connected properly, you’ll see “Transfer mode: USB Connected” message on the screen.moto-360-bootloader-mode
  4. Now launch a command window and type the following command to check if your device is detected by ADB:
    adb devices
  5. If you see your device’s serial number in list of devices, you are good to go.
  6. Now type the following command to unlock the bootloader on your Moto 360:
    fastboot oem unlock
  7. Then reboot your device by issuing this command:
    fastboot reboot

Now you have unlocked bootloader on your Moto 360.

Root Moto 360 Smartwatch

  1. Copy the KGW42Nrooted_boot.img file into the same folder where ADB and Fastboot files exist. rename the file as boot.img.
  2. Reboot your device into the Bootloader Mode.
  3. Connect your Moto 360 using the modified USB cable.
  4. Open a command prompt  window and type the following command:
    fastboot boot boot.img
  5. Your Moto 360 will reboot and when it boots up, it’ll have root access.

Congrats, your Moto 360 has been rooted successfully. Should you have any doubts or questions, do not forget to share with us via comments!

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  • Tim Maarten Hobbes

    What can you do with it?