We’ve spoken a number of times recently about the dearth of development in the Android-powered Wear OS space. While Google’s Wear OS fumbles around in the weeds, the smartwatch war – such as it is – is being won resoundingly by Apple’s Watch.
It stands to reason that many would ask “Can I use an Apple Watch on Android?” and we can well understand why you’d want to know. Apple’s Watch is one of the best smartwatches around, and despite what some might see as some clumsy design, it sells in huge volumes. Apple has made a smartwatch that people actually want and use.
Wear OS even works on iOS, so it stands to reason that Apple Watch would work on Android, right?
Sadly, the Apple Watch won’t work with Android
If you want to activate and set up your Apple Watch, you need an iPhone. You need to use the built-in Watch app on your iPhone to activate your watch, setup things like iCloud and Apple Pay, and activate cellular connectivity if you have a watch with LTE.
There’s no way to pair an Apple Watch with an Android phone after setup, either. While it does use Bluetooth, yes, the Apple Watch is made explicitly to work with the iPhone and no others.
A workaround requires a LTE Apple Watch, and you’ll still need an iPhone
This is a workaround, but only kind of. You can use an Apple Watch with an Android phone, but to be really accurate, you’d be using it while using an Android rather than with it.
To make this work, you’ll need an LTE Apple Watch, along with access to an iPhone. You’ll also want your nano-SIM card for your phone, with number sharing turned on (you’d need to ask your carrier about that one).
Set up the Apple Watch, using an iPhone for the process, and activate the cellular capability on your watch. Once set up, take the SIM from the iPhone and pop it in your Android phone of choice.
What you’ll then have is a smartwatch that can make and receive calls, send and receive SMS, and both using the same mobile number as your phone. However, that’s about where the functionality ends.
Whatever data your watch collects – e.g. fitness, sleep, etc. – will stay on your watch. There’s no way we’re aware of to get that data onto your Android phone. The watch and phone aren’t paired, as such, except for sharing a mobile number.
On the plus side, you’ll have a pretty cool watch that can do something no Wear OS watches can – share your mobile number. On the down side, Apple Watch isn’t designed to be used this way. The battery life won’t be much good, and the smart features – e.g. notifications – won’t be available.