The Pixel Watch bootloader is unlockable, but you have to sacrifice a good USB cable

We are well on our way to getting custom ROMs for this watch


If for some godforsaken reason you’ve been looking for a way to load custom ROMs to your $350 Pixel Watch, go ahead. Someone else paved the way for you to do this and trust us, it’s pretty ugly.

Most Wear OS watches can run ADB commands over Wi-Fi – we’ll show you how to get that started with our tutorial on installing the Pixel Watch’s watch faces on your Wear OS 3 device – but they do require a wired connection when it comes to doing something as privileged and crazy as unlocking the bootloader.



Unfortunately, the only way such a connection is possible is through those four Pogo pins on the device that neatly match the ones embedded in the proprietary magnetic charging pad. The thing is, you don’t need all those pins for power – if you don’t know, those pins actually correspond to the pinout of a full USB port with one pin supplying power at 5V, two for processing data coming in and going out, and the latter for ground.

Shiny Quagsire on Twitter was able to cut a USB cable and figure out a way to connect their Pixel Watch to a computer.

That cable isn’t a pretty sight, but hey, you gotta break some eggs, right?

Anyway, our MacGyver then went through the usual steps to unlock the bootloader just like any other Android device and now they have a Pixel Watch with an unlocked bootloader.

With the Pixel Watch kernel source out (via XDA-Developers), it won’t just be ROM developers out there – this also opens up the possibility for some AliExpress vendors (you know the type) to get dedicated adapters from USB to Pogo outputs.

Thanks: Mishaal

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