Android Wear Smartwatches now work with your iPhone
05 September 2015

Android Wear Smartwatches now work with your iPhone

Android Wear is is now available to the iPhone-- only the latest iPhones -- those that are running iOS 8.2 and up are supported (iPhone 5 onwards).

A select set of Android Wear smartwatches (and all future watches) will work with the iPhone. The app should be rolling out worldwide soon. It’s been a long time coming — and it means that Google will be challenging the Apple Watch on its home turf. Those Android Wear watches will be both cheaper and more varied than the Apple Watch — just like Android itself.

Once you upgrade your Android Wear smartwatch to the latest version of Android Wear you’re good to go. Google recommends the new LG Watch Urbane, which is the most recent Android Wear watch to launch. We're told that the app will also work with all future Wear devices, including upcoming watches from ASUS, Motorola and Huawei. Optimal experience requires a newer watch because I found my old Android Wear smartwatch battery drained fast, after trying out the Samsung Gear Live watch with my iPhone.

Android Wear for iOS should work almost the same as it does for Android phones. You'll get notifications from your favourite Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Now, as well as Apple's Calendar, Google Fit, the weather, alarm, agenda, Translate and so forth.

It will work with voice queries and you can change the watch face just as you can with the Android app. According to Google, you don't need to have any of these apps installed; they're all built into the iOS app itself.

Any third party app notifications that show up on your iPhone will also show on the watch. However, if you want true native third party app syncing, and that’s still in the works. Version 1 always has limited functionality and Google rapidly iterates on more every month.

If you were a little upset at the limited wearable options available for the iPhone, now you have the latest Android Wear lineup at your fingertips.


iPhone Android Wear Feature Support

  • Your notifications from the iPhone are mirrored on Android Wear.
  • You get Google Now cards on the watch.
  • There are a bunch of different watch faces — including select third-party watch faces — that you can install and use.
  • There are a few native apps on the watch you can tap into, like Weather or a clever Translate app.
  • Voice search works, including various reminders that you might want to send to Google Now.
  • You can do fitness tracking on the watch with Google Fit.
  • You can get rich notifications from a small set of Google apps, such as Calendar and Gmail.

Final Comments

Those looking for the Apple Watch experience on Android Wear will have to look elsewhere. Texts can’t be responded to using the watch nor can calendar events can’t be snoozed. Phone calls answered with an Android Wear watch require you take your phone out of your pocket anyway. And for those accidental wrist dials: good luck grabbing your phone in time before making a fool of yourself. 

Android Wear for iOS strongly benefits a very specific type of smartwatch user. The one who prefers choice, who simply needs a window into the notifications buzzing off in their pocket -- regardless of any software hang ups. Android Wear smartwatches certainly look cooler than the Apple Watch.

 

Android Wear for iOS is awesome. In theory, at least. The Aerlink + BLE Utility method gets the job done for those that absolutely need a Moto 360, LG Watch or one of the many others.

Android Wear watches on the iPhone: hands-on

Categories

Wearables