Android Wear for iPhone is Live

31 August 2015

iPhone users now have another smartwatch choice: Android Wear. Like the Android smartphone OS, Android Wear is its own platform, supporting dozens of watches, most of which are far cheaper than the cheapest Apple Watch. The iOS Wear app appears to be available in multiple regions (at the very least the US as far as Australia so far).

For now, Google is only officially announcing that three Android Wear watches will work with the iOS app: the LG G Watch Urbane, Huawei Watch and ASUS Zenwatch 2. However, users are reporting that other watches are also working. We ourselves tested an LG G Watch R, which so far has worked flawlessly with an iPhone 6 for a couple of hours. That is to say: as flawlessly as an Android Wear watch can work with an iPhone.

Almost everything

Android Wear for iOS will give you access to core Wear functionality, but not everything. Notifications, audio playback controls, Google Now cards, the ability to set reminders, and Google Fit are all there.

On the down side, there is currently a very limited range of custom watch faces, and basically no third party apps.

You can answer or ignore calls from the watch face, but right now you do still need to use the phone itself to talk. This is not nearly as restrictive as it sounds. Noone really talks in to their Android Watch for phone calls; it's awkward and most units don't exactly have the best microphones. Instead, you'll generally find yourself using the watch to ignore calls when you're too busy to answer, to decided whether or not you actually want to answer, or to answer calls and let your microphone-enabled headphones do the rest.

Messages from iMessage do come through, but you can't reply directly from the watch as you can with a regular SMS or Facebook Messenger alert. For now, you'll still have to whip your phone out and type in your response the old-fashioned way.

It’s important to remember that this is just the start; Google is planning to expand app and watch face diversity as time goes by, but for now you can at least rest assured that notifications will get through.

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