Hebrew support for the Amazfit watch

UPDATE:
New watchs comes with a locked bootloader.
If you are using CN version above 1.2.13e or abobe US 1.3.2b – your bootloader is locked.
You won’t be able to use this turorial.

If your bootloader is not locked, you might want to check the PACEfied rom:
https://forum.xda-developers.com/smartwatch/other-smartwatches/rom-pacefied-amazfit-huami-amazfit-t3539431

This rom includes the Hebrew fonts and much more.
———————————————-

After I found out I’m not gonna get my Pebble Time 2, I searched for an alternative.

I heard about the Amazfit Pace watch, which is manufactured by Huami.
Amazfit Pace is an affordable GPS running watch with heart rate tracking,
based on Android 5.1 (not Android Wear) with Huami’s interface.

There are two versions for this watch, one is Chinese (A1602) for the Asian market,
and on for the global market (A1612, allso called Pace).

The CN version get updates every Friday and it’s firmware is more advanced from the global version.
(The global version did not get any update yet)

I knew there is no Hebrew support for the CN version, but I hoped the global version does,
so I bought the Amazfit Pace from amazfit.com (sold at $99 with promo code ‘NOTFITBIT’ that time).

Bad news – no Hebrew support 🙁

 

I don’t have much experience with Android development, but the first fix I thought of is change
the watch default font to a bilingual font.
The watch’s default font is Roboto. I did a little search for a bilingual font and decided to use Heboo.

Next step is to change all the Roboto font style with the matching ones of Heeboo.. but where?

The fonts in Android system are stored in the folder ‘system/fonts’, but to make changes
in this folder you must have a root access.
Luckily, the day I received my watch, xda user ‘Neuer_User’ found a way to
convert the Chinese version to the Global version, and for that he made a recovery with a root access.

I booted this recovery with fastboot, and now I have root access from adb 🙂
Now.. the ‘system’ folder is missing! After a little googling I figured out I need to mount it,
but I did not know it’s path. More googling… and the command is:

ls -l /dev/block/platform/jzmmc_v1.2.0/by-name

Output:

lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2017-01-21 12:31 boot -> /dev/block/mmcblk0p1
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2017-01-21 12:31 cache -> /dev/block/mmcblk0p6
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2017-01-21 12:31 data -> /dev/block/mmcblk0p8
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2017-01-21 12:31 misc -> /dev/block/mmcblk0p5
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2017-01-21 12:31 pretest -> /dev/block/mmcblk0p3
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2017-01-21 12:31 recovery -> /dev/block/mmcblk0p2
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2017-01-21 12:31 reserved -> /dev/block/mmcblk0p4
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2017-01-21 12:31 system -> /dev/block/mmcblk0p7

I need the ‘system’ folder then I need to mount it with the command:

mount -t ext4 /dev/block/mmcblk0p7 /system

Now I can replace all the Roboto with Heboo and that’s what I did. And it worked!
But it also pushed out from the display some texts:

More readings and I found there is a file called ‘fonts.xml’ in the folder ‘etc’ that contains the system fonts
and it has a fallback font for Hebrew!
There are more languages in this file, you can find it here:
https://github.com/itaysp/AmazfitPace/blob/master/fonts.xml

The Hebrew fallback fonts are ‘NotoSansHebrew-Bold.ttf’ and ‘NotoSansHebrew-Regular.ttf’.
You can find the fonts here: https://www.google.com/get/noto/#sans-hebr
Very stange that Huami did not include them in the watch..

So now the fix is simple! just push those two fonts to the ‘system/fonts’ folder and we have Hebrew support!
The only problem now is when the screen is locked, the notifications still can’t be displayed.
When I replaced the fonts with Heboo, I did see Hebrew even the screen was locked, but it was revered.

So here is a quick guide for pushing the Hebrew fonts:
( *** I’M NOT TAKING ANY RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU DAMAGE YOUR WATCH ***)

### Files and tools needed:
### adb, fastboot and drivers. can be found here: 
### https://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2588979
###
### Neur_User Amazfit-mod-recovery.img from here:
### https://forum.xda-developers.com/smartwatch/other-smartwatches/tutorial-convert-xiaomi-huami-amazfit-t3532508
###
### 'fonts' folder with the fonts 'NotoSansHebrew-Bold.ttf' and 'NotoSansHebrew-Regular.ttf' 
### https://www.google.com/get/noto/#sans-hebr
###

# Create a folder with the file Amazfit-mod-recovery.img and the 'fonts'
# folder with the fonts and navigate there from command line.

# connect your watch to your PC
adb devices
# this should list your watch, otherwise something is wrong

# now reboot into bootloader
adb shell reboot bootloader

# when you see the fastboot logo, check that you can access fastboot
fastboot devices

# you should see your device listed, otherwise your fastboot installation is not correct on your PC
# then boot into the temporary recovery
fastboot boot Amazfit-mod-recovery.img

# when you see a triangle and/or the text "No command" on the watch, you are in recovery and can enter adb

# mount the /system partition
adb shell mount -t ext4 /dev/block/mmcblk0p7 /system

# overwrite the old fonts
adb push fonts /system/fonts/

# restart the phone
adb shell reboot

Next hack was to start translating apps to Hebrew.. but this is still unstable.

 

Update 27/07/2017
This watch let me down.
After about 3 months of use, the battery died..
The watch  was sitting on my desk useless until now:

32 thoughts on “Hebrew support for the Amazfit watch”

  1. Hi Itay,
    Thank you so match for this useful blog!

    I’m wondering if to order the AMAZFIT watch and want to ask you if you had any problems to switch between miles to km?

    Tanks again

    1. Hey Boaz,
      In the last firmware Huami added km support.
      You can switch in the Amazfit app under More Settings -> Units.

  2. hey,
    do you think it is possible to implement it with the latest firmware?
    i now have rom 1.3.2b ?

    thanks
    victor.

    1. Hello,
      Huami started locking the bootloader in the device.
      If you have version 1.3.2b installed so your bootloader is locked.

      There is nothing to do now..

      Itay

  3. Hi Itay,

    I’m stuck in the part of the command: “adb push fonts /system/fonts/”…
    A message appears:
    “daemon not running. starting it now on port 5038
    daemon started successfully
    error: device not found”
    what can I do?

    Also, when I mount the folder by the command: “adb shell mount -t ext4 /dev/block/mmcblk0p7 /system”,
    Nothing happens, that is, there is no message, is this normal?

    1. Hi,
      It seems like your computer is not recognizing the watch.
      You can try to disconnect the watch from the computer and reconnect.
      If it does’t help, you might need to install drivers.
      You can use this tool:
      https://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2588979

      Also, if you are using the latest stock rom, the bootloader is locked and you won’t be able to push the fonts..

      1. O.K,
        I tried another computer, and this is the result:
        I did step by step according to the guide…

        C:\adb>adb devices
        List of devices attached
        7b3b2528 device

        C:\adb>adb shell reboot bootloader

        C:\adb>fastboot devices
        0123456789 fastboot

        C:\adb>fastboot boot recovery.img
        downloading ‘boot.img’…
        OKAY [ 0.434s]
        booting…
        FAILED (status read failed (Too many links))
        finished. total time: 1.401s

        C:\adb>adb shell mount -t ext4 /dev/block/mmcblk0p7 /system

        C:\adb>adb push fonts /system/fonts/
        /system/fonts/fonts/: 2 files pushed. 0 files skipped. 2.1 MB/s (52160 bytes in 0.024s)

        C:\adb>adb shell reboot

        C:\adb>

        After all, Hebrew is still not supported…
        Some idea?
        Model: A1612
        Rom V: 1.3.2b

        1. It looks like you pushed the fonts to system/fonts/fonts folder instead of system/fonts

          try this command: adb push fonts /system/

  4. Hi Itay, i have Model A1612 with Rom Version 1.3.2b
    are u saying that i cannot have Hebrew on this watch?

    1. I don’t have this watch anymore because of a problem with the battery.

      From what I’ve heard, version 1.3.2b comes with a locked bootloader hence you can not get a root access.

      However, you can see in the comments that someone did try this tutorial with version 1.3.2b and it worked.

      1. Hi Itay,
        Thx for your quick reply!
        i did see that guy760 managed to do this hebrew workaround with version 1.3.2b and that’s the reason i asked 🙂
        anyway, trying to follow your guide and i can’t seem to get the file Amazfit-mod-recovery.img download link, can u help?
        also, is there any filmed guide your know, in youtube or something?

        Thx for your help
        Idan

  5. Hi Itay,

    I’m stuck in the part of the command: “error: device ‘(null)’ not found”
    The Watch is unlocked

    I did step by step according to the guide:

    c:\adb>fastboot devices
    0123456789 fastboot

    c:\adb>fastboot boot recovery.img
    downloading ‘boot.img’…
    OKAY [ 0.413s]
    booting…
    FAILED (status read failed (Unknown error))
    finished. total time: 1.389s

    c:\adb>adb shell mount -t ext4 /dev/block/mmcblk0p7 /system
    error: device ‘(null)’ not found

    Would love your help

  6. Hi itay. I got my new watch.
    I need help with installing hebrew fonts
    And right to left notifications.
    Can you send me please instructions in Hebrew?
    Rom version 1.3.3a
    Thanks
    Alon

    1. היי,
      יש לך היום כלי אוטומטי שעושה את זה
      https://forum.xda-developers.com/smartwatch/amazfit/tool-huami-amazfit-smartwatch-pace-t3656574
      אתה צריך להתקין ADB DRIVERS מכאן:
      https://goo.gl/xGcS4G

      אם קנית את הגרסא האמרקאית של השעון, כנראה שהבוטלודר נעול אז צריך לעקוב אחר המדריך הזה (לא ניסיתי מעולם כי שלי היה פתוח)
      https://goo.gl/QVFYBt

      ואז תוריד את הקובץ המצורף בקישור הראשון ותריץ..

      יש קבוצה בפיסיבוק של השעון בעברית, תוכל לקבל שם תמיכה אם תסתבך
      https://www.facebook.com/Hebrew.Amazfit

  7. hi itay,
    i just updated my watch to the latest firmware of 1.3.4

    i want to add hebrew to my watch,
    can you direct me how to do it,

    thank you,

    barak

    1. Hi,
      I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that.

      I got mine from amazfit.com .
      You can buy it also from gearbest (they have promotions from time to time)

  8. Hi Itay
    I got my new amazfit.
    The colors on the watch face are very pale its not strong as in the picturs.
    Any way to change it? Is something wrong with the smartwatch?

  9. Hi Italy,
    I was managed to install pacified on my watch, and the hebrew fonts are there. The problem is that the text is mirrored… Any idea how to fix it?

    Thanks
    Meir

  10. Hi Itay
    I have amazefit pace A1612 with Rom version 1.3.6d.
    I buy it before ~4 month .
    My heart pace stop working. It is not lighting anymore.
    The Buttery is fine , the watch didn’t get any hit.

    Any Idea what else can i do to make it work ?

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