Debug on a Wear Device

This article explains how to debug a Xamarin.Android Wear application on a Wear device.


If you have an Android Wear device such as an Android Wear Smartwatch, You can run the app on the device instead of using an emulator. (If you are not yet familiar with the process of deploying and running Android Wear apps, see Hello, Wear.)

Prepare The Wear Device:

Use the following steps to enable debugging on the Android Wear device:

  1. Open the Settings menu on the Android Wear device.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap About.

  3. Tap the build number 7 times.

  4. On the Settings menu, tap Developer Options.

  5. Confirm that ADB debugging is enabled.

Debugging over USB

If your Wear device has a USB port, you can connect the Wear device to your computer, deploy to it, and run/debug the app as you would using an Android phone (for more information, see Debug on a Device).

Debugging over Bluetooth

If your Wear device does not have a USB port, you can deploy the app to the Wear device over Bluetooth by routing the app's debug output to an Android phone that is connected to your computer.

Prepare Your Phone

Use the following steps to prepare your phone for making Bluetooth connections to the Wear device:

  1. If you have not already done so, set up your phone for Xamarin.Android development as explained in Set Up Device for Development.

  2. Download and install the free Android Wear app from the Google Play Store.

Connect The Device

Use the following steps to connect your Wear device to your Phone:

  1. On the phone that will act as Bluetooth intermediary (configured above), start the Android Wear app.

  2. Tap the Settings icon.

  3. Enable Debugging over Bluetooth. You should see the following status displayed on the screen of the Android Wear app:

    Host: disconnected
    Target: connected
  4. Connect the phone to your computer over USB. On your computer, enter the following commands:

    adb forward tcp:4444 localabstract:/adb-hub
    adb connect

    If port 4444 is not available, you can use any other available port to which you have access.


    If you restart Visual Studio or Visual Studio for Mac, you must run these commands again to setup a connection to the Wear device.

  5. When the Wear device prompts you, confirm that you are allowing ADB Debugging. In the Android Wear app, you should see the status change to:

    Host: connected
    Target: connected
  6. After you complete the above steps, running adb devices shows the status of both the phone and the Android Wear device:

    List of devices attached    device
    019ad61df0a69399  device

At this point, you can deploy your app to the Wear device.

Taking screenshots

You can take a screenshot of the Wear device by entering the following command:

adb -s shell screencap -p /sdcard/DCIM/screencap.png

Copy the screenshot to your computer by entering the following command:

adb -s pull /sdcard/DCIM/screencap.png

Delete the screenshot on the device by entering the following command:

adb -s shell rm /sdcard/DCIM/screencap.png

Uninstalling an app

You can uninstall an app from the wear device by entering the following command:

adb -s uninstall <package name>

For example, to remove the app with the package name com.xamarin.weartest, enter the following command:

adb -s uninstall com.xamarin.weartest

For more information about debugging Android Wear devices over Bluetooth, see Debugging over Bluetooth.

Debugging a Wear app with a companion phone app

Android Wear apps are packaged with a companion Android phone app for distribution on Google Play (for more information, see Working with Packaging). However, you still develop the Wear app and its companion app separately. When you release your app through the Google Play Store, the Wear app will be packaged with the companion app and automatically installed if possible.

To debug the Wear app with a companion app:

  1. Build and deploy the companion app to the phone.

  2. Right-click the Wear project and set it as the default start project.

  3. Deploy the Wear project to the wearable device.

  4. Run and debug the Wear app on the device.


This article explained how to configure an Android Wear device for Wear debug from Visual Studio via Bluetooth, and how to debug a Wear app with a companion phone app. It also provided common debugging tips for debugging a Wear app via Bluetooth.