Caitlin M. Ryan | Wearables | Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:09:58 +0000

Hell hath frozen over: Those with iPhones can now pair their Apple smartphones to an Android Wear smartwatch.

For now, only a certain selection of Android Wear smartwatches will be compatible with an iPhone 5 or later running at least iOS 8.2. The first smartwatches on deck are the Huawei Watch, the Asus ZenWatch 2, and the LG Watch Urbane. However all future generations of Google’s smartwatches will be iOS compatible right out of the box.

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Temper your expectations, because it’s widely reported that you cannot do nearly as much with an Android Watch and an iPhone as you could by pairing together a smartwatch and smartphone of the same brand. There are no third-party apps or Wi-Fi support. As Wired succinctly put, “Using Android Wear will be like using the Google app on your iPhone — it’s very good, but it’s siloed.â€

A limited experience it may be, but users can expect to receive notifications, integrate Google Now, use voice search, and track their fitness. Below are the specifics Google outlined in its official blog post.

  • Get your info at a glance: Check important info like phone calls, messages, and notifications from your favorite apps. Android Wear features always-on displays, so you’ll never have to move your wrist to wake up your watch.
  • Follow your fitness: Set fitness goals, and get daily and weekly views of your progress. Your watch automatically tracks walking and running, and even measures your heart rate.
  • Save time with smart help: Receive timely tips like when to leave for appointments, current traffic info, and flight status. Just say “Ok Google†to ask questions like “Is it going to rain in London tomorrow?†or create to-dos with “Remind me to pack an umbrella.â€

If the user experience is strong — and this is a huge “if” — this is a largely positive move for Google and any other Apple Watch competitors. An entire new market of customers has just opened up for Android Wear.

Also read: Android Wear 101: What it is, what it can do, and which device to get

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