Today Google announced the immediate support of Android Wear devices with iOS. Google’s official iOS Android Wear app launches today and will unlock an entire ecosystem of wearable devices to iOS users. To start with, only 3 devices will be iOS compatible: the Huawei Watch, the Asus ZenWatch 2, and the LG Watch Urbane (which is the only watch of the 3 available to buy today). Moving forward, all future Android Wear watches will be compatible. Unfortunately, the bargain priced first version of the Moto 360 is left out of the iOS party.
From a functionality stand point, without the deep, system level hooks Apple is able to use for the Apple Watch, the Android Wear experience is a bit shallower. You aren’t able to edit your iCloud based calendar, reply to iMessages, or respond to emails through Mail. You also cannot currently install any third party apps or watch faces onto Android Wear devices, because they depend on the Google Play store. The good news is that
Android Wear for iOS comes with a lot of baked in functionality including things such as a translating app and a wide selection of watch faces. From a notifications standpoint, Google was able to provide deeper integration than other 3rd party wearable devices have been able to achieve. Once the watch is paired, if you receive a notification that would cause your phone to vibrate, your watch will vibrate instead and if a notification comes through that you have set not to vibrate your phone, the watch also will not vibrate. Additionally, notifications dismissed via the watch show as dismissed on the iPhone.
We cannot wait to get our hands on a compatible Android Wear device and test out the functionality ourselves. Not only is there suddenly a huge diversity of smartwatch styles available to iOS users, there is now a significant increase in competition. And increased competition will likely result in better and more compelling products! If you want to find out more about Android Wear for iOS, The Verge was given early access and has posted a video and large write up of their experience.