Play your favorite Game Boy Color games on your Android Wear watch

Pokemon on a Samsung Gear Live. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Pokemon on a Samsung Gear Live. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Android Wear watches are essentially just tiny Android devices, which means with a little bit of effort, they’ll run regular Android apps. We’ve already seen how they handle games like Minecraft, and even desktop operating systems like Windows 95. In the video below, we see just how well the Samsung Gear Live plays your favorite Game Boy Color titles.

We’ll also tell you how you can install a Game Boy Advance emulator on your own Android Wear device.

For this trick, YouTuber Corbin Davenport — who was also behind the videos mentioned above — uses the popular VGB Game Boy Color emulator for Android. Corbin also has a Moga controller connected via Bluetooth so that he doesn’t have to use tiny on-screen controls instead.

Pretty impressive, right? And it’s actually pretty simple to side-load Android apps onto your Android Wear watch — particularly if you’ve installed apps and other tweaks on other devices using ADB.

First, you need to download a Game Boy Color emulator for Android to your computer. VGB is paid, but you can download free alternatives from Google Play using a tool like APK Downloader. Most should work just fine, but bear in mind that Android Wear won’t run apps with Action Bars, so avoid emulators that use them.

Once you have the APK file on your PC, put it on your desktop and then follow the steps below.

  1. Install ADB, Fastboot, and drivers on your PC if you don’t already have them. You can use this simple tool to get them all in just a few seconds.
  2. Enable “developer options” on your Android Wear watch by heading into Settings, then “About,” then tapping the “Build number” 7 times
  3. Return to the Settings menu, then head into “Developer options” and enable “USB Debugging”
  4. Open the Android Wear app on your connected smartphone, go into its settings menu, then enable “Debugging over Bluetooth”
  5. Plug your phone — not your watch — into your computer via USB
  6. Open up the Command Prompt and enter:
    adb devices
  7. Your phone should be listed. Now you can connect to your watch by entering:
    adb forward tcp:6666 localabstract:/adb-hub (hit return)
    adb connect localhost:6666
  8. Now enter this command again:
    adb devices
  9. Providing everything worked, your watch should appear beneath your devices as “localhost:6666 device.” You can now enter:
    adb -e install (drag the APK file you downloaded into the Command Prompt before hitting return)
  10. The APK will now be side-loaded onto your watch, and you should see a “Success” message.

If the install is unsuccessful, repeat the process from step 6, making sure you entered all commands correctly. If ADB doesn’t detect your phone, try reinstalling the drivers again, or installing ADB, Fastboot, and the drivers manually.

Once you have installed the APK successfully, you can download the awesome Wear Mini Launcher from Google Play to access it on your Android Wear device. It’s just like a regular Android app launcher, so you simply need to look for the emulator you installed.

To connect a Bluetooth controller, you’ll need to side-load its companion app using the same steps you followed to side-load your Game Boy Color emulator, then connect the two via Bluetooth. For more detailed instructions on the whole process, visit Davenport’s blog by following the source link below.