Google is ostensibly working on an iPhone app that will bring iOS compatibility to all Android Wear-driven smartwatches on the market. Google’s Android-powered software platform for wearable devices launched a year ago without official support for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac devices. Word of a possible solution came Tuesday via 01Net and was passed along to us by French blog iPhon.fr.
Whichever way you look at it, making Android Wear compatible with the iPhone could help extend the market for Android-driven wearable devices to include Apple users, too.
About 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped in 2014, according to Canalys, the research firm. Various analysts estimate Apple’s Watch could sell about ten or more million devices in 2015.
No firm release date for the software has been set yet, according to the article.
Should this report come true, we think it might get announced at Apple’s “Spring Forward” media event next Monday, during Google I/O 2015 which runs May 28-29 or at Apple’s annual developers conference in the summer.
While the search giant initially did not provide iOS compatibility for Android Wear, the landscape for wearable devices has changed a lot since last April, mostly owing to the Apple Watch announcement in September 2014 and its impending release next month.
Google would benefit from Android Wear’s iOS compatibility, as would Apple fans looking for a more affordable alternative to the Apple Watch that worked with their iPhone.
The notion of iOS-compatible Android Wear smartwatches isn’t as far fetched as it sounds. Google is among the leading developers for the iOS platform and the firm did got its Glass hardware to work on iOS.
At any rate, a Google-sanctioned solution would be much welcomed by mainstream users who are not necessarily aware of makeshift solutions like an app created by an Android enthusiast, shown below, which enables iOS Messages app notifications on Android Wear devices like Motorola’s round-faced Moto 360.
Apple has reportedly commissioned its suppliers and contract fabricator Quanta Computer to build as many as six million Watches ahead of April’s launch. Analysts predict that five percent of installed iPhone user base are potential Watch buyers.
The Apple Watch requires an iPhone and is compatible with any iPhone model from the iPhone 5 onward, running iOS 8.2 or later and connecting via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.0.
Apple is unlikely to make the Watch Android-compatible anytime soon, due in no small part to the significant technical hurdles. Not only does the device require an iPhone for Internet connectivity and location services via GPS, it’s needed to run third-party Watch apps, which are provided as iOS 8 extensions running on your iPhone.
Such an approach allows the iPhone to do all the heavy lifting and stream an app’s user interface assets, notifications and a storyboard back to the Watch for quick and lightweight, battery-friendly interactions.
According to Google’s FAQ webpage, Android Wear is currently compatible with phones running Android 4.3 or higher that support Bluetooth.
“You can pair your watch with a tablet that meets the same requirements, but phones are recommended,” reads the article.
Pictured top of post and below: the Huawei Watch.
Officially announced at Mobile World Congress 2015 last week, it’s the first Android Wear device to sport a display made of sapphire crystal.
Driven by Android Wear, the device packs a 1.4-inch full round display with a resolution of 400-by-400 pixels resulting in a pixel density of 286ppi, a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 512 MB RAM and 4GB of available internal storage.
It has the 316L corrosive-resistant stainless steel body and Huawei is offering several interchangeable leather or metal bands, allowing for a premium look and feel.
To find out whether your phone supports Android Wear, visit android.com/wear/check from your device.