Android Wear development, both mainstream and on the sidelines, seems to be well under way. After a strong influx of Android Wear apps on Google Play Store, the modding community is also stepping up its game, starting with the availability of TWRP recovery on two of the only Android Wear smartwatches in existence, the G Watch and Gear Live.
Those who are familiar with the whole custom ROM scene will know how a custom recovery such as TWRP is essential for flashing ROMs and other ZIP files, like for gaining root. That said, at the moment, there isn’t much of that for TWRP to do since there is only one custom ROM in existence for the G Watch called Gohma and zero for the Samsung Gear Live. That said, a custom recovery is also required for certain other power user features, like making nandroid backups.
TWRP offers possibly one advantage to CWM, the other popular Android recovery, when it comes to smartwatches. One of TWRP’s signature features is being touch-friendly, throwing out the need to fiddle with volume rocker buttons or capacitive buttons. Considering smartwatches don’t haven any of those and in some instances might not even have a button at all, TWRP’s feature definitely becomes an essential part of the recovery. That said, CWM also has a touch-enabled branch, but its interface is still largely text-based and developer Koushik “koush” Dutta isn’t exactly keen on adding new features to CWM.
Android Wear is still in its infancy, but now we almost have all the needed pieces, including root, ROM, and now recovery, for mucking around with the platform. It will be interesting to see what the Android developer community comes up with in the near future to possibly extend Android Wear beyond the somewhat limited scope that Google has envisioned for it.