The Apple Watch is one of the most coherent and attractive wearables on the market, so there are sure to be plenty of Android users tempted by its sleek lines and genuinely useful functionality. However, do you need to give up your Android phone to embrace the Apple Watch? Can you use an Apple Watch with Android phones?
The latest generation of Apple Watch has really set the gold standard for smart watches. While Wear OS is certainly forging ahead, Apple has managed to make a product that’s cohesive, consistent, and respectful of the fact that a smart watch still has to work as a wristwatch. Unfortunately, it’s also explicitly designed as an accessory to the iPhone. Not the iPad, not the iPod, and certainly not Android. So the short and simple answer is No, you cannot use an Apple Watch with Android Phones. The less simple answer is that you can sort-of, kind-of, get an Apple Watch to tersely exchange data with an Android phone. However, this is a severely limited setup and we can’t really recommend it.
The hacks aren’t worth it
Various folk on the web have managed to use the LTE-equipped Apple Watches with Android phones, by swapping out the SIM card from the iPhone used for the initial setup with that of an Android phone. This is, however, nothing more than a neat experiment for a few reasons. First of all, the LTE connection is meant as a fallback from the much less power-hungry Bluetooth technology. The end result of this is a shorter battery life for the Apple Watch. This is especially problematic on the latest models, as they have an always-on screen. Apart from this, having no iPhone cuts you off from the companion app used to modify installed apps and otherwise operate the Apple Watch as intended.
Since this kludge requires an iPhone in the first place and then again requires it to make any useful changes or updates to the watch, it’s not something you should seriously consider.
Android alternatives to the Apple Watch
Wear OS and the various Android smartwatches on the market may not match the Apple Watch as an overall, cohesive product. Still, that’s not to say you couldn’t find one that works for you. If you want to know what the best Android smartwatches are, be sure to check out Ben Schoon’s article, which is updated regularly with the best offerings from the Android world.
Looking to the future of Android and the Apple Watch
While the Apple Watch may not be a match for Android phones, never say never. The iPad also started out as a companion device. You absolutely needed a Mac or PC running iTunes to even set the tablet up. Today, Apple is touting the iPad as a standalone computer. There’s definitely a future timeline where the Apple Watch comes into its own as a standalone device. Of course, it’s entirely up to Apple. However, there are certainly plenty of Android fans who would have no issue with an Apple Watch on their wrists. If only the company would allow it.
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