@GaelDuval tweeted asking about people’s experiences with smartwatches: https://mobile.twitter.com/gael_duval/status/1165664422020427776, specifically anyone’s experiences using one of these with an /e/OS smartphone.
I don’t have one, but if I did it would be one which would run AsteroidOS: https://asteroidos.org/
It’s a different approach, technically, from /e/OS. Whereas /e/ is basically a fork of Android, still running the ART, AsteroidOS is more like a typical Linux distribution similar to Ubuntu Touch, LuneOS, etc. using libhybris to be able to use the Android bionic drivers with traditional everything else based on libc.
As far as I know there isn’t a fork of WearOS (Android for smartwatches) like LineageOS for /e/ to base an OS off, so /e/ might be starting from scratch on this one.
Does anyone know more about the options for smartwatches or how these options work?
Thank you for raising this discussion on the forum.
This AsteroidOS looks interesting.
Can you elaborate on "AsteroidOS (…) using libhybris to be able to use the Android bionic drivers ". What is this libhybris useful for?
/e/OS is using a fork of Android, not a Linux distribution for the simple reason that we want to have most Android apps available.
But for the smartwatch, it may be a different story.
If I remember well the small experience I had in the past with an iWatch, the cool things for me were:
- choosing the watch look from various themes
- notifications and quick look at a message (sms, email)
- calendar alerts
- handling incoming calls directly from the watch
- health rate tracking with stats available in the health mobile app
- capability to play/play spotify player
Most of these seems to be possible to implement without some Android stuff, maybe appart the health stuff.
Until now, I thought AsteroidOS is just a fork of Android. But since it turned out not to be so, I wonder now if it is possible to pair AsteroidOS with Gadgetbridge smartphone app.
I use AsteroidOS on an LG G Watch paired with my /e/ device, theres an app of f-droid which pairs the two: AsteroidOS Sync
AsteroidOS does the basics. There’s no option to add extra android apps etc basically you can only change the watch face, check notifications, weather, music control and few other basic features like calculator, alarm etc.
Essentially, libhybris allows a traditional Linux distro to run on hardware for which only Android drivers exist. It is basically a compatibility layer (or sometimes less kindly called a “hack”!) between the Android linux kernel and drivers which use the bionic C library, and the more traditional linux distros which use other C libraries, typically the GNU one (glibc). It was first developed and used by Jolla for their hardware, then picked up Ubuntu Touch, used more recently in Jolla Sailfish X and also used in other community-driven projects like LuneOS (continuation of OpenWebOS), Plasma Mobile (KDE), AsteroidOS and postmarketOS (although only as an unofficial option), and probably others too (in fact I think that NemoMobile and Maemo Leste also use it, but they’re little known).
Good descriptions/references (in order of technical detail) are:
https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Hybris - you’ll probably find this one more useful.
AsteroidOS have done really well creating getting libhybris working on so many different devices. However not all functions/features of any device are supported yet as far as I can tell. It’s clear that after a few easy wins things get much harder and a lot depends on availability of source code for the device - same problem as with Android forks
@e.follower There is a synchronisation client for AsteroidOS in the F-Droid store: https://f-droid.org/packages/org.asteroidos.sync/. I don’t know how gadgetbridge works so don’t know if it would work with AsteroidOS, I think it would depend on device.
As I said, I don’t have a smartwatch so haven’t used any of this stuff. If you want to know more the best thing is to get in touch with the AsteroidOS team.
Closely related but off topic: If you remember the various possibilities of running Android apps alongside PWAs which I described, one of the options was to run a browser engine on a stack using libhybris (therefore not needing to include the ART) and run the ART alongside in a container. This is essentially what SailfishOS does, I think, with their ability to run Android apps, as otherwise the main SailfishOS uses libhybris. I think this is partially described in the postmarketOS wiki link above.
I’ve only recently tried out AsteroidOS with another microG-based ROM. On ASUS ZenWatch 2. Works out well as @b3pio mentioned. Currently trying it out in a temporary/dualboot fashion before I commit.
I just fully committed and flashed it as the primary rom straight up, was not an expensive watch at the end of the day. Luckily its not a bad g-free watch OS.