It’s widely speculated that LG is working to bring WiFi support to the LG G Watch R in some future release of Android Wear, but in the most recent official release, 5.1.1, the smartwatch is notably left out. Being left out of a feature isn’t an unsolvable problem for the XDA Developers community, though, as it appears one developer has put together a hack for enabling WiFi on the round smartwatch from LG…

Android 5.1.1 came packing a bunch of new features, and LG’s other more-recent smartwatch, the LG Watch Urbane, was the first to sport the new software. While that device was the poster child of the 5.1.1 update, its little brother—which has almost-identical if not identical internals—was left out of the much sought-after WiFi capabilities. If the two devices have the same hardware, this must be a problem solvable with software, right?

Apparently. Courtesy of a developer that goes by the name of intersectRaven, a new flashable .zip to enable the wlan driver is now available to daring users who would like to put their device—and almost certainly their warranty—at risk. The hack requires an LG G Watch R running the 5.1.1 update (LDZ22D), TWRP custom recovery installed, and of course, an unlocked bootloader.

You can read the full instructions of the hack over at XDA Developers (as they might change as development of the hack progresses), but it’s a pretty straightforward process of backing up the system, installing a custom kernel, and flashing the provided enok_wifi_zip-XX.zip. Needless to say, you’re definitely trying this hack at your own risk; there’s always a chance that untested mods like this can cause some permanent hardware damage.

If you decide to try it out, let us know how it goes.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.