Android Wear comes to iPhone

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Google announced that as of Monday, Google’s Android Wear smart watches will now connect to Apple’s iPhones (iPhone 5 and up). This is big news for those of us who have iPhones, but who are fans of Google’s many useful tools, such as Google Calendar, Gmail, and my favorite, Google Now. While Google’s Android smart watches do not share the breadth of applications that the Apple Watch has, their use as an extension of your iPhone should work pretty well. As a recent convert to iPhone from Android, I have been a longtime user of Google Calendar and it is still my primary calendar application. News reports also say that users will be able to access Google Maps from the watches.

A new iOS app called Android Wear, connects your iPhone to your Android watch. At present, only the latest versions of Android smart watches work with this iPhone app. Reviews of the new Android Wear app are mostly very good. Most of the complaints deal with such things as lack of available functionality, limited watch faces, and the inability to work with older Android smart watches. Does this mean that the Apple Watch is no longer king of the smart watches? Not at all. Is this good for consumers and gadget aficionados? Absolutely! Android smart watches are considerably cheaper, have much more variety of styles, and already have an established customer base. Time will tell how this development will shake out, but I can only see this as a good first step that may be the tipping point needed to convince customers to take the plunge into smart watches. Competition is always good for consumers and I am excited to have this option available. What do you think?

16 thoughts on “Android Wear comes to iPhone”

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  2. If people are complaining about limited watch faces on the Android watch, they REALLY need to see how little is on the Apple Watch.

    1. Thanks for the comment Sandee! I am quite surprised at your comment. I really thought that Apple, as well as 3rd party developers, had designed a plethora of downloadable watch faces.

  3. @Sandee… i totally agree.
    There is 1 or 2 decent useable watchface faces on my applewatch vs 20+ I absolutely love on my moto360 that i regularly flip thru 3 themes throughout the course of a day 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment Anson! Wow…an Apple Watch AND an Android watch. What kind of smartphone is your primary device? Which watch overall do you prefer? I’d be very interested in your feedback.

      1. @John – my smartwatch journey began with the Pebble (that i ordered from kickstarter) that I used religiously with my iphone until the moto360 was announced. That gave me the perfect excuse to buy my first android phone (OnePlus One) and designate that as my “work phone” just so I can drive the moto360. When the applewatch got released, what’s a gadgeteer to do? 🙂
        Conclusion (based on my opinions and usage habits only): the Pebble 1st-gen now line the drawer along with my graveyard of tech-toys. The people with “the battery on the pebble can last a week” argument. Both the applewatch, and moto360 can do sooo much more than the Pebble, and both can still last at least a day, and I charge my watch nightly alongside my phone- so it’s not anymore of a hassle for me…
        The applewatch vs. androidwear battle is a bit more complicated. Similar to the mobile-OS war, both iOS and android both have their plus & minuses- same goes with their watches. Surprisingly- the applewatch battery lasts longer than moto360 if you are going to party into the night, and the way applewatch handles notifications/alerts is extremely elegant. Biggest down-fall for apple is the inability to download custom watchfaces and I’m stuck with 2 that i am only 70% satisfied with. Moto360 on the otherhand- i have access to limitless options. There is a huge community of watchface builders, and with free apps such as Watchmaker- I too am able to cobble something together that is far more sexy than one of apple’s preset options (even with my beginner skills). And like we all know… there will always be plenty more after market accessories for the apple products!!

        1. I don’t argue that the other smart watches do a lot more than the pebble. For some people this works. Personally for me all I want is the time, and select notifications to pop up. I briefly had the Samsung Gear. It was nice, but way more than I wanted. Went back to my pebble.

          But who knows, I’m always willing to change my views when new tech and software comes out.

    1. Thanks for the comment Tech! I have seen leaked images and specs for the upcoming Moto360 2 watch and it looks very interesting. It looks like September will see the announcement of several new Android smart watches.

  4. Hi Elzabeth. Thanks for your comments. I’m with you! I’m very excited about the opportunities that this opens up for iPhone users who want more options than the Apple Watch. Keep reading The Gadgeteer and you’ll be the first to see upcoming mobile devices and wearable technology!

  5. What I’m actually surprised at is that Apple let Google create the app. Apple is not exactly known for working well with others.

  6. Hey John, interestingly enough I used the app on the day it came out, didn’t even know it wasn’t out there. Only after I wanted to pair my LG Watch R with my iPhone (the tech-nerd in me needed to do that) did I look in the App Store and found it.
    After using it for a little less than a week, I found that the most annoying thing about it was when leaving the bluetooth range. The “re”-pairing of the two devices took a while – as opposed to apple apple or android android which goes within seconds. Aside from that I found the possibilities limiting as to what you can do on the LG Watch R. And yes, the watch interfaces on iOS for the LG Watch R were OK, but as “anson” stated in her/his post: the watch faces were limited. Also a bummer. Theer is much room for improvement.

  7. Hi Cornelis! Thanks for the great feedback! That’s what I call hands on reporting. I had heard that pairing was still spotty. I imagine that would annoy me quite a bit. Hopefully, this will improve with each iteration of Android Wear. Which iPhone and IOS are you using? I believe that IOS 9 comes out tomorrow – maybe that will help :-). I still am amazed that Apple let this app on their store. Could it be that that they’re starting to play better with others? I think this will get very interesting. Keep on following me here and I will do my best to keep you up to date with the latest and greatest in gadgets!

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