The day has finally come where Android and Apple merge. And by this, we mean that Google’s Android Wear is now compatible with the iPhone.
The Android Wear iOS app launched last week and is available across the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. This is kind of a big deal, as it is the first time users will be able to pair Android-powered smartwatches with iPhones.
The leak first showed up on an Amazon listing for the Huawei Watch. The since-removed page noted that the smartwatch was compatible with most devices running Android 4.3 or later but also iOS 8.2. However, what was presumably a rumor turned out to be truth when the Official Google Blog announced the news on August 31st.
According to the Google blog, Android Wear users can still easily get their info at a glance, as well as receive notifications and track fitness progress, too. Their Siri-like function “OK Google” also works too, and is helpful for setting reminders, getting traffic info, and receiving other timely tips.
However, iOS users definitely have limitations when it comes to functionality and compatibility. One of the glaring issues reported by both Google and Apple is that Android Wear is not compatible with HealthKit. Instead, Android Wear users with iPhones will have to download Google Fit to get any sort of health or fitness-related readings. Apple reported that this was a conscious choice on Google’s behalf.
Image: Techno Buffalo
There are a few other restraints with Android Wear as well. The Verge reported that only a select number of Google apps will display notifications to the user, and that the same third-party apps available to Android users aren’t iPhone compatible. As MacRumors puts it, the iOS pairing “has some locked-down functionality compared to what is possible with a paired Android smartphone.”
All Android Watches from here on out will also support iOS. This includes the recent LG Watch Urbane, Huawei Watch, Motorola, ASUS, and other models. Some users have also reported that older smart watch models like the Moto 360 or Samsung Gear are iOS compatible after a factory reset.
Will Apple return the favor and make their Apple Watch models Android friendly? The answer is likely no, considering their smartwatches are dominating the wearable technology market. However, it is a wise move on Google’s part in an attempt to expand its minimal Android Wear user base.