Is Apple Watch Compatible With Android?
Is Apple Watch Compatible With Android? NO.
That is the short answer.
Is Apple Watch Compatible With Android?
Apple Watch is, at the moment, not compatible with Android. Both Google and Apple, two of the biggest tech giants, have entered the rapidly expanding smartwatch market in different ways. Apple decided to create its own watch and operating system; Apple Watch and WatchOS. Essentially the same route they took with the Smartphone.
Google on the other hand decided that since developing the Android platform had worked so well in the Smartphone arena, creating a similar platform for smartwatches was the best path to take. So they created Android Wear targeted at wearables. However, reports indicate that the company is planning its own Nexus-branded smartwatches.
The same tussle and friction that has played out between Android and iOS in Smartphones seems to have extended to smartwatches. There is no way Apple would have developed a smartwatch that is compatible with Google, its main competitor. Even in the future, there isn’t much hope of an Android-compatible Apple Watch.
The only consolation we have is the compatibility of Android Wear to iOS. In the second generation of Android Wear, Google decided to make Android Wear compatible with the iPhone. This means that you can use popular Android Wear powered smartwatches such as LG Watch Urbane and Moto 360 2 with an iPhone. But you cannot use an Apple Watch with an Android phone. So this is still bad news for Apple Watch users.
Price when reviewed: $399
Why the ‘Enmity’?
Generally, Google has been more willing to make its products compatible with Apple products than Apple has been willing to return the favor. Apple’s ecosystem has remained tight knit for years, barely admitting anyone into the fold. A few exceptions include iTunes for Windows and Apple Music for Android.
Currently, it is inconceivable that Apple would make its Watch compatible with Android or even Android Wear products for that matter. Event the second generation Apple Watch expected to launch on September 7 will most likely not bridge this divide.
Why is Apple so adamant about keeping Apple Watch away from Android? There are several possible reasons.
1. It is a lot of work
Creating an Android-compatible Apple Watch is not as easy as it sounds. Apple would most likely have to produce two versions of Apple Watch, one that works only with iOS and another that works with Android.
Most of the essential apps on Apple Watch are first party, meaning that they are developed by Apple for Apple. These include Apple Music, Apple Health and Apple Pay.
These apps were developed to work strictly within the Apple ecosystem and not an inch beyond. If they were to just make Apple Watch, as it is, compatible with Android, it would be a pointless move since the apps would not work with Android.
Not unless Apple decides to start making more apps for Android, compatibility is little more than a fantasy.
2. It could ruin the Apple experience
Apple holds user experience in high regard. This is one reason they have been able to dominate the market for years. The iPhone is easy to use with a highly intuitive user interface.
The experience is in a word, painless. Android on the other hand tends to be the clutter yard, with different Smartphones bringing in their own pain points as each customizes Android to their liking.
To be fair though, Google has made massive improvements in streamlining the Android experience.
Introducing the complexity of Android into the simplicity of Apple Watch could have unexpected consequences. Apple will not take chances with their user experience.
3. The watch sells the iPhone
iPhone sales figures have not been looking so good in recent times. The tumble must have been a scary one for Tim Cook because Apple is scrambling to create other revenue streams (Apple Car, Apple VR and of course Apple Watch). Apple Watch is an essential component of efforts to keep cash flow streams brimming.
To use Apple Watch, you must have an iPhone. Apple sees an opportunity for more iPhone sales in this. If they make Appel Watch popular enough, it could potentially boost sales of the iPhone. Making the watch compatible with Android would mess up these plans, so it is a big no-no for Apple.
iPhone users have a consolation. As we mentioned in the beginning, Android Wear is now compatible with the iPhone though the experience still has its hiccups.
But if you cannot part with your Apple Watch, Apple says you also cannot part with your iPhone, perhaps forever.
Would you love to see an Android-compatible Apple Watch? Do you think it will happen? Leave your comments below.
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