As has been rumored for quite some time now, Android Wear now officially supports iOS. In a blog post on the Official Google Blog entitled “Android Wear now works with iPhones”, Google outlines the specifics behind the iOS compatibility.
Right now, only the LG Urbane, one of the latest Android Wear devices to hit retail, works with the latest update that’s rolling out to users throughout the day. Eventually, however, more Android Wear devices from Huawei, Asus, and Motorola will work.
Why would an iPhone user opt to use Android Wear over the Apple Watch? The most obvious use case is with those who already own Android Wear devices, because they carry an Android smartphone as well as an iPhone. Obviously, these users will be in the minority, but they do exist (see: me).
Google says that there are compelling reasons for using Android Wear, including:
- Get your info at a glance: Check important info like phone calls, messages, and notifications from your favorite apps. Android Wear features always-on displays, so you’ll never have to move your wrist to wake up your watch.
- Follow your fitness: Set fitness goals, and get daily and weekly views of your progress. Your watch automatically tracks walking and running, and even measures your heart rate.
- Save time with smart help: Receive timely tips like when to leave for appointments, current traffic info, and flight status. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions like “Is it going to rain in London tomorrow?” or create to-dos with “Remind me to pack an umbrella.”
Obviously the tight system integration that’s possible with an Apple Watch on iOS will trump that of an Android Wear device, so I’m curious to see how Google goes about pulling this off. One thing we know for sure: it’s not going to be anywhere close to the Apple Watch in terms of functionality due to the restrictions implemented on third-party Bluetooth devices. Think Pebble.
Unfortunately, I don’t own an LG Urbane, but I do look forward to checking it out in the future. No doubt we’ll see several YouTube videos pop up today highlighting the new compatibility. I’ll be sure to embed one of those as soon as they surface.
Android Wear will play nice with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2+.
Do you own an Android Wear device? Would you consider buying an Android Wear smartwatch to use with you iPhone.