Dec 26 AT 5:36 PM Edgar Cervantes 50 Comments

MotoActv rooted and running Honeycomb launcher, much smoother than we would think (Update)


We have been hearing about Google testing some smart watches, lately. The idea of being able to access your messages, social networks, apps, and other features from your wrist seems quite convenient. Manufacturers haven’t quite found the right equation for these devices, though.

Most of these gadgets are very limited, expensive or simply not hitting the right spot for our tech-hungry stomachs. It seems like waiting for Google’s response might be a good idea before you throw out your hard-earned cash. Or you could wait for the developer community to make things right, and a developer named CMW just made the first move.

CMW has managed to root the Motorola MotoACTV, throw the stock Honeycomb launcher in there, and even gave the smartwatch access to the Android Market. If it has Android, we can customize it right? Honeycomb may not look its best in such a small screen, but it is not looking bad either, and things should improve as developers do more with it.

We must say we were impressed. Sure, this is no high end Dick Tracy super watch, but it is running awfully smoother than one would imagine. Rocking a 600 MHz TI OMAP 3630 processor, and only 256 MB of RAM, this bad boy manages to get things done fairly well.

MotoACTV users can check out CMW’s instructions if they are willing to unleash the power of that Android watch. As for the rest of us, we can check out his video, which is posted right below. What do you guys say? Will the developer community make a better job than the manufacturers? Are you liking Honeycomb in a 1.6-inch device?


We noticed that some of you are interested in purchasing a MotoACTV. After seeing what the device is capable of, we can understand why this watch is now more enticing. For your convenience, we are placing direct links to Amazon right below. The 8 GB version goes for $209.99, while the 16 GB one will cost you $299.99.

Still a bit pricey, but if you can afford it, and like these hacks, here are the links:

Link: 8 GB Motorola MotoACTV

Link: 16 GB Motorola MotoACTV

Via: Engadget

Source: CMW

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • goncalossilva

    Amazing. It’s smooth alright – the low resolution probably helps with that.

    • Jorge Eslava

      I’m pretty sure that’s not the only thing helping with that.

    • tmihai20

      I showed it to a friend of mine with a Galaxy S II and he was amazed, in a good and in a bad way: amazed that it could run so many, but unusable with such a small screen. I consider it a test case for Android devices.

  • damambt

    I would like to be able to take this and sync it with your phone to receive notifications such as sms,mms, twitter, fb, G+ without having to take your phone out of your pocket and may be even have some custom templates loaded on it for a quick reply. Also, turning your phone on and off and setting it to silent/vibrate.

    • mac08wrx

      Yes that would be bad ass. I totally want one either way

  • zyphbear

    This is pretty cool actually, maybe someone can come up with some other skins and uses for such a small device like this!

    • Andy_jr

      That was exactly my reaction. I’ve been waiting for years for a geeky watch like this! It works surprisingly well, and that’s before any custom work for the small screen.

  • YMS123

    That thing out specs some entry level phones! The future just got better :)

  • erikiksaz

    Google needs to hurry with majel, can you imagine tapping on your phone-watch, asking “computer, do xxx for me? ” It’d be so nerd cool.

    • aranea

      Tapping your watch and changing the song while running. Sounds cool to me.

  • Deeds

    This is very cool, and if Google decides to invest in this type of device, it could give them a big advantage over Apple

  • vid500

    So cool, wouldn’t expect that android runs so smoothly, I’m impressed. With a few changes to the skin this will be fantastic.
    So I believe that in a year form now a lot of us will be wearing smart watches, can’t wait. It’s funny though now we all wont a 10inch tablet and the next year a 1inch watch. Our wishes are getting smaller.:):)

  • Christopher Chavez

    I was seriously tripping balls when I saw this. Just when I though I’d seen everything out of Android. Never dreamed I’d see a 1.6-inch honeycomb launcher and running SMOOTH :D

    I’m just mad that I didn’t know about this before Christmas when I could have put this watch on my Christmas list. =/

  • GeauxLSU

    Maybe Google will patent running a phone/tablet OS on a watch, then Apple won’t be able to touch it.

  • sap 26

    I can’t see myself wearing this watch but I think it’s great to see how creative the Android devs are. This puts us one step closer to seeing Android on every screen.


    Pretty impressive but still seems like it is lacking something…. need a projector and a laser keyboard that projects onto my arm :D

  • YellowDucati

    $250 for a watch normally would be cheap for me but I like all my watches to be analog.
    I only wear automatic or manual watches. I guess I have an old school wrist.

    • YellowDucati

      Wow. I just reread my comment. I sound like a snotty rich guy. I see why I got down voted.

      In actuality I am not. I do like nice watches but I have to save for years to get them. I haven’t had a new watch since 2004.


      • AmericanJedi001

        LOL, I don’t think it was *that* bad, whoever downvoted you must be pretty self-righteous.

        And… There’s my downvote!

  • Lewis McGeary

    It’s always good to see some experimentation like this, but the interface certainly needs to be designed with the tiny form factor in mind, just scaling the OS is never going to be very practical.
    I can’t wait to see how Google tailors Android for smartwatches.

  • David Constenla

    That’s incredible, how much adaptables are android applications? :o

  • nivekkev

    Loved this Android powered watch when I first saw it, love it even more now. Anxroid watches seem to be moving in the right direction, so hopefully I will soon have an Android powered watch myself, guess I will have to get me a second and third job to pay for all of this Android…

  • Hall Lo

    thats quite impressive for a watch!

  • Emmanuel Lazcano

    Pretty cool. I sure welcome any less expensive alternative to i’m Color’s.

  • MoSDeeb

    As pointed out by the article, there has not been a smart watch to lust after. It might be a long time before one does come along that focuses on quick access content in a fashionable way.

    Until that time, Motorola needs to focus on its core products and discontinue peripheral products such as this and Motoblur entirely.

  • Adryan maldonado

    Seriously what can’t the android community do. This is awesome. I would totally buy one now. (opens another window to purchase device).

  • edy

    Nice hack, but I agree with above comments… Need a micro-Android GUI tailored to run on sub-4″ screen devices, otherwise you need toothpick-sized fingers. Bring down the cost to $99 and I think you will have a market for it. Why? Because there are lots of fitness apps for your phone which already do most of what this watch does, and you carry your phone around with you anyways (at least most people do). For example, endomondo, imapmyfitness, runkeeperpro, and others all track. If you have a MotoACTV hacked and rooted, you can have some apps on your wrist, but you still need your phone for any email or internet-based apps, because it doesn’t have a direct internet connection through any carrier. So what’s the point?

    There are already watches on ebay for $66 that are GSM-based phones with touch screen, camera, MP3 capability. Just search for “cell phone watch”. Also, if you happen to have a phone on you anyways, you can use the “Sony Ericsson LiveView FB Bluetooth Watch” which is basically a wearable screen to your cellphone, letting you view caller id, view text messages, twitter/facebook updates, and so on, on your wrist… so you don’t have to remove your phone from your pocket, and it’s $64 on ebay! The phone can run the fitness tracking apps and you can control your music through the wrist watch “controller”.

    So while MOTOACTV is cool, the average user (and even technophile like myself) will not jump on until it really comes down in price. I think the $250 you are paying for in MOTOACTV is actually the Music Service and Fitness performance tracking/reports that are offered. The fact that it has a built-in GPS is cool, so that even without your phone it still manages to log your track, and syncs up later. When you connect via bluetooth to your phone that you carry with you on your workout, it adds the extra capabilities of seeing what your phone is doing. Let’s see some prices going down and then it will justify someone buying yet another gadget.

    • drksilenc

      wow u must be out of your mind if u think you can get this much tek for 100$… even the almighty ipod nano is more than that. this has everything that the nano is missing for sports nuts.

  • lxgeorge

    I feel like at the moment this is a pure novelty. I mean sure it has its applications (and applications XD), but I just don’t get a “that’s cool!” vibe from it. However, I did laugh when the guy loaded up Angry Birds haha

  • Joshua Melling

    I’m getting one now!

  • classic_hero

    this is awesome, cant wait for more stuff like this, just goes to show how great and flexible android is

  • atul0002

    Thought it was a pointless product til now

  • redraider133

    I think once the price comes down and more of these are available you will see more people buying one. Similar thing happened with tablets, at first they didnt sell well and didnt have many options, and now price came down and more are buying.

  • druie

    Cool, this is pretty handy to have when I go running outdoors!

  • jimtravis

    Like the direction the Android watches are taking. So much more functional than the Nano as a watch. Never thought I would see Angry Birds on a watch.

  • Billy

    Kind of cool … not sure I can swallow the cost though….

  • KRS_Won

    We shouldn’t forget that the ACTV was originally aimed against products like Garmin, which can cost $200-399. And also the fact that the ACTV isn’t just a watch, it can attached a watchband. The ACTV is GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+ capable.

    I had considered getting it, but it is a little out of my price range at the moment. I’m interested to see what direction devs can take this. A custom ROM that can utilize the smaller screen. For honeycomb to be smooth, can you imagine ICS on the ACTV?

    On some side notes:
    -As a runner, when I’m going for distance I tend to leave my phone at home. Anything other than a house key and armband or watch can get annoying by mile 4…
    -Most people seem to be looking at this as an Android watch linked to a phone and not a fitness product compatible with Android.
    -I would like to see the cost come down. I will probably get mine from Verizon, it shows as an accessory, able to get a discount.

  • _Diego

    This is actually making me consider buying a watch again. Only if the price drops though… It’s a bit out of my price range right now :-)

  • rasterX

    I hope this sells well enough so a second generation model gets produced. This one is 46mm square, which could accommodate a 2.2 inch diagonal screen if it were bezel-less. A bezel isn’t needed to insulate the display from stray touch input (on the screen periphery) because it’s held still by a strap. Make it 320×256 (keeping current aspect), and I’d pick one up in an instant. I would really be interested in developing software for something like this. And development of an Android micro-GUI for tiny touch screens (as Edy pointed out above) is a great idea.

  • keridel

    200 bucks? No thanks. Lol

    I can buy a phone for that over here and strap it to my wrist in some sort of wristcom from sci fi..

    Actually.i like that idea… hmmm

  • mikeyDroid

    Can’t even imagine it… ha

  • donger

    wow, pretty cool they got honeycomb on it.

  • Oskar Wismierski

    Thants SMOOTH! Probably because of the tiny resolution on it

  • mclarensr

    Impressive looking watch

  • staryoshi

    An android smart-watch with social networking, GPS, weather, and other basic features would be quite interesting. It would be nice to be able to sync a watch with your phone calendar, tasks, etc. Perhaps it could be connected to the phone directly or utilize its own wifi or 3g connectivity.

    A smaller bezel and a larger, perhaps flexible OLED screen would be awesome and further increase its viability.

  • moik

    “What is it Zordon?…alright be right there….it’s morphin time!”

  • J. Life

    I think it’s pretty cool that you can do that stuff on a watch. To be honest, this product would probably be purchased more by a techie nerd than by a hardcore workout fanatic. I run occasionally but I do a lot of road biking and mountain biking. Apps for those activities would be cool. I don’t see myself doing much social media posting and such but a feature that would post my ride automatically in intervals set by me (kinda like an automatic check-in that shows a map of my progress that I could share with my biking buddies). Heart rate monitors and calorie burn/counters are a must as well.

    As far a music goes, most cyclists I know don’t listen to music while they ride. Too distracting and dangerous. Like a previous poster said. Garmin already has a few products that cater to sports enthusiasts and Apple somewhat covers the music portion and fitness tracking with the Nano and collaboration with Nike. Suunto also offers a pretty decent product line for runners, cyclists, triathletes, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. In order for this device to be successful, it has to be able to bridge the gap between most of these devices, be extremely user friendly on the fly and set a price point slightly lower than the competition.

    I would be nice to see where this goes.

  • Johnathan Prochaska

    This market for smart watches will continue to mature next year with custom GUIs being built using Android. Think syncing your watch with your phone, tablet, computer and television. Being able to read texts, ignore or answer calls, change the TV station, check the weather, stream music to your car radio, check emails and more…. all from your wrist. I think this may become a hub for controlling a lot of devices and it will be something you would always have with you.

    Very exciting indeed.

  • Karlnorway

    To bad its not selling outside US yet…. I would so like one of these…

  • Yale Landsberg

    Can anyone here see if our brand new Android Java based version of what is found via can work well on a rooted MOTOACTV?

    Please contact me at my email address so that I can point you to the appropriate apk.

    Regards, Yale