The Apple Watch has been around for just over one year and commands a strong position within the smartwatch market, and although a second Apple Watch is being talked about around the rumor mill there is no confirmation yet from Apple as to either way. Still for a starting price with the current model of $300 for the entry sport variant the Apple Watch is not cheap! So, how about an Android Wear watch as an alternative?
Android Wear Watch Compatible with the iPhone
If you didn’t already know this, back in late 2015 Android-powered smartwatches became compatible with the iPhone. And whilst not all Android Wear smartwatches are cheaper than the Apple Watch they are available in a much wider ranges from many manufacturers, which means cheaper watches are available. In addition, if you don’t mind a pre-used device current prices mean it is even easier to find a great deal.
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Depending on your point of view you may consider Android Wear watches to offer less in the way of functionality when paired with an iPhone, but the chance to save a lot of money may be the benefit that is most important to you. So moving on, here’s the information you need, if you want an Android Wear Watch on your wrist and an iPhone in your pocket.
What is Android Wear?
Android Wear is the Smartwatch / wearable OS version of Androids popular mobile phone operating system, which is run by Google. The company itself only provides the core software it does not manufacture any Android Wear Watch unlike how it does with the Nexus line of smartphones and tablets.
Since Android Wear launched in June 2014, many watches have been launched by manufacturers from all over the world, including Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, Asus and Huawei with a few lesser known brands also making lesser quality Android compatible devices. The large amount of manufacturers involved with the wearable OS means that there is a huge variety of Android Wear smartwatches on the market, and they all look somewhat different.
That being said, there is one feature that all of those watches share, and that is the operating system. Android Wear is essentially the same software on each and every device and as such each one acts identically in the way the software runs when using the lasts version.
Also up until very recently nearly all Android Wear Watches relied upon a tethered smartphone for connectivity however, apps can now run nativley run on a watch so that you can listen to music, make calls, reply to SMS and even more.
What are Your Watch Options
If you’re interested in knowing what Android Wear has to offer, you will first need to know what Android Wear Watch is compatible with your iPhone. To start with you will need at the very minimum to have an iPhone 5 running on iOS 8.2 or newer. If that’s you, the watches available to you are the Huawei Watch, Fitbit Blaze, Garmin Vivoactive HR, Tag Heur Connected, LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360 Sport, Mondaine Helvetica No1 Smart, Asus ZenWatch 2, Pebble Time Steel, Vector Luna and the Casio Outdoor Watch also according to Google is compatible.
However, it’s best to be completely thorough, so I’ll also include some watches from an earlier version of Android Wear like the first generation Moto 360 and the G Watch R and LG G Watch these are also compatible. But some users have reported having to factory reset the watch to get it to pair with an iPhone. This problem is likely not to be the case for more up-to-date versions of the Android OS.
How to Pair an Android Wear Watch to an iPhone
This part is an easy process, as Google has developed an Android Wear app, which is available from the iOS App Store. All you have to do is install it on your iPhone and then once installed pair the devices within. At this point the app will show you a code, which will need to be matched on your watch. Match the codes and that’s it you’ve paired the two devices.
Now that you’ve paired you Android Wear Watch and iPhone, it will become quickly apparent to you that the Android Wear app is used to control your watch, this is for future software updates and new watch faces.
What can this Pairing do?
Like any watch, Android Wear Watches tell the time really well, besides that one of the main benefits to paring with one is that you will get is the ability to receive wrist based notifications sent directly from your iPhone. This part is just the same as with an Apple Watch, various communication and app alerts are sent to the watch. This allows you to stay in contact with important things without having to use your phone.
Notifications are handled as scrollable cards, scrolling up and down lets you see the notifications from various apps on a different screen. It does not matter if the notification is from Twitter, Facebook or even an email, they will stack up within the same app listing for ease of access.
Google Now Voice Commands
Google Now is basically the Android Wear version of Siri, it lets you say hello Google and ask questions, do web searches all from the watches screen. You can also ask it for quick facts such as “Which is the biggest country in the World” and it will respond with a detailed response.
Is it Worth Doing?
Moving on to other features of Android Wear, there is a handful of core functions in the form of pre-installed apps, which you can find by swiping left on the Android Wear Watch screen. Most are time orientated, so things like setting alarms a stopwatch, World clock, but there is a compass too and a really good translate app that will help you to carry out conversations in foreign languages.
There could be many reasons for wanting to switch from an Apple Watch to an Android Wear one, also there could be many reasons as to why you may want to miss out the Apple Watch altogether. However, there is some loss of functionality when deciding to use an Android based watch instead of the Apple Watch.
Seriously to gain the full benefits of a wearable experience when you own an iPhone, Apple have made it so that using anything else is purely a pale imitation. If you have the cash you’re surely going to opt for the Apple Watch. However, if you want to save some cash at least you have a choice!