Android Wear on iOS: Setup and first impressions [Video]


Android Wear finally has iOS support after Google pushed its iPhone-compatible software to the App Store. This means that Android has beaten Apple Watch to the cross-platform game. Or, at least it would, if iOS didn’t restrict it to a state of almost uselessness. The only device officially supported is the LG Watch Urbane although — as we previously revealed — the older generation Android Wear watches do work. I got it set up with my Moto 360, and have been mostly disappointed by my experience so far.

My Moto 360 runs the latest Android Wear 1.3 build, and with any Android smartphone is capable of a great many things. I have a plethora of watch faces available to download from the Play Store, some of them interactive, and many, many apps to interact with by voice command or touchscreen gesture.  To go from that, to only being able to see calendar events, weather, reminders and Gmail is anticlimactic to say the least. At worst, I was expecting to be able to see SMS message notifications and not much else, but I don’t even have those. Regardless of hardware, new or old, this restriction won’t change with iOS until Apple says so.

My other frustrations I feel are mostly to do with having a 1 year-old smartwatch. Voice commands take forever to register and load, and even when it looked like it was about to do something, I’d get a pop up notification telling me my phone was no longer connected. Nothing has worked properly, apart from the very first few minutes of setting up and going through the simple tutorial. To say it has been a waste of time would be putting it mildly.

If you haven’t downloaded the Android Wear app for your iPhone yet, and still want to give it a try, you can download it here for free. If you don’t have an Android Wear smartwatch to try it with, you can pick one up for as little as $130 online.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. darwiniandude - 7 years ago

    No SMS notifications? Even Pebble does that. Weird

  2. numtsi - 7 years ago

    I actually was thinking about getting a cheaper Android Wear-Watch. But thanks for this video. I reminded me, that cheap still means “not worth it”.

    • pdoobs - 7 years ago

      If you want something cheap for notifications just get a pebble. Android Wear is just as limited as the Pebble on iOS, maybe more limited because it seems there is zero 3rd party app support right now. Also I’m sure someone is selling a lightly used apple watch at this point, easy discount buying used.

  3. rogifan - 7 years ago

    What’s the point of this exactly? If someone doesn’t want to spend $349 on Watch get a pebble then. Is round really that big of a deal?

  4. Morgan (@morganmms) - 7 years ago

    I guess, to be fair, the Moto 360 is not a supported device. I’d list to see how this works with a supported Android Wear device… maybe the next version of the 360?

  5. incredibilistic - 7 years ago

    The Apple Watch and Android Wear represent the definitive choosing of an ecosystem as there are clear advantages in using one phone over another.

    Sure you could save money with an Android Wear watch but you’d be missing out on SO much like Apple Pay, animated emojis, heartbeat sharing, the Activity app, stand alerts, Remote for Apple TV (as well as a remote for DirecTV if you’re a subscriber) and, eventually, checking in and opening hotel room doors from your wrist.

    Even as broke as I am I’d much rather have a more full featured experience than just a cheaper one.

    • George (@calfilmmaker) - 7 years ago

      To be fair though, 99% of people would get by without any of those features you’re talking about. Think about the mainstream use cases of what a smart watch needs to do. You need to be able to get reminders, get notifications, get emails, get text messages, look at maps, and maybe ask questions to Google Voice or Siri. You can pretty much do all of that in either Google or Apple’s ecosystem. I think this also paves the way for some of those niche use cases you were talking about. For example, maybe Android Wear watches in the future will have NFC Google Pay, so they may not be that far behind in terms of an awesome experience.

  6. nerdafk - 7 years ago

    what is that keyboard

  7. jxslepton - 7 years ago

    If it can receive basic notifications and can activate siri and is a lot cheaper than the apple watch I might bite.

  8. drgreenberg - 7 years ago

    What’s the point of trying this on a watch that hasn’t been updated to support the app? Google says this is why there are so few supported watches.

    The comment on cross-platform support is also rather odd. Apple views the watch as a means to sell iPhones and has every reason to let other watches work on these phones but few to allow their watch to help sell another brand of phone. Apple also allows competing ebook and music apps on iPhone yet doesn’t allow support for iBooks or Apple Music on other phones.

  9. decoratiff (@decoratiff) - 7 years ago

    Hey can you tell us what black keyed full size apple-like keyboard this is on the pic? Looks like the regular one just with black keys and I’d love to have such a device. What product ist this or how did you get such a thing?

  10. Larry Griffin - 7 years ago

    uhh whats the point of this video…. right now the only watch that is supported for android wear and iPhones is the LG watch urbane .. trying any other watch is absolutely pointless…. this is the problem i had with Cam back when he was on PhoneDog .. he always jumps the gun with his reviews and walk throughs

  11. Jack Price - 7 years ago

    I wonder if the Sony Smartwatch 3 works, that thing has GPS and can be bought for $250 Aussie dollars….could be a much better buy that the Apple Watch that I got in the base 42mm sports model for $579. This OS2 better be pretty awesome to justify keeping it! The HR monitor works like shit, and yes I am wearing it right, I have it on the second tightest setting on the smallest band and even shaved the hair off my wrists so that it could have a cleaner reading (yes it does look stupid when i take the watch off :P). The other day I was running at under 4min/km pace and the watch told me I had an average HR of 45bpm, which is just ridiculous. I bought a Wahoo Tickr Bluetooth HRM to pair now with the watch so that I can accurately record my HR on my runs (i used a Garmin bike computer for cycling which destroys the apple watch as a fitness device so much that I wouldn’t even bother using the watch on the bike). Overall it’s just a pretty average product, the fact I got the watch months after it was released and have still be waiting months for a hopefully half decent UI is crazy! Steve Job would be having a seizure in his grave over this screw up on Apple’s part. I say this as someone who genuinely likes Apple too. I’ve always own macs since I was 15 (I’m 28 now) and got the first iPhone when it was released in the US and switched my late fathers entire company over to running macs. I’ve done some runs with the watch without the phone to check it’s accuracy on routes that are well known to me (as in I know the exact tree that marks every km travelled) and it is wildly inaccurate, but what’s worse is that it’s not even consistently inaccurate, it’s all over the shop! Sometimes it does seem to work ok, other times its skewed massively one way and other times the other way (be it pace, distance travelled or HR). Also a watch that constantly turns itself off, then goes back into the main menu screen forcing you to open up Strava every time you want to check your distance or pace is insane (don’t they know how bad sweaty fingers are on a capacitive touch display). I really wanted to like this product, but so far I’ve had a hard time recommending it to anyone and it is beyond me why they thought it was acceptable to release such an unpolished product to market. The sad thing is I do actually find that having a smart watch is handy and I do like a number of features the watch does, but they really shouldn’t have even bothered pretending they could cut it with the likes of Garmin as a sports watch because they’ve got many generations of redesign until that will happen in my opinion. It leaves no question as to why they aren’t reporting their sales figures and why at least here in Australia you hardly see anyone wearing one. I’m a medical student in my penultimate year of study and I’m surrounded by well off students and doctors who always get the latest gadgets (Apple products in particular) and so far I know of one other student who has one and she’s American :P

    • roguedog - 7 years ago

      Not Saying this comment is untrue… but Thou Dost Protest Too Much…. TROLL

  12. That round design is worse than I thought. Everything pushed to corners looking squeezed and that black line at the bottom, blah.

  13. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    “…is anticlimactic to say the least”


  14. patstar5 - 7 years ago

    My “cheap” lg g watch I got for $80 last year works fine with my android phone.
    Did this person even try to get messages working with iOS? Seems like he just tried it and it didn’t work so he gave up and wrote a bad review.
    Probably are still some bugs to work out, I though the lg g watch urbane was the only one supporting ios right now, maybe not

  15. kkritsilas - 7 years ago

    A couple of points:

    1. While the Moto 360 works, it is not listed by Google as being compatible. What is the point of testing a device/application that the developer themselves indirectly indicate don’t work properly? Could some of the issues, such as the lack of SMS/Hangouts notifications be related to this? As one of the other commenters, and other testers have found, using a compatible Android wear watch does all the SMS/Hangouts notifications to work. Perhaps a re-test with an officially compatible watch is in order?

    2. The LG Watch Urbane is NOT the only watch that is officially listed as being compatible. The Asus Zenwatch 2 and the Huawei watches are as well. Also according to Google, most Android Wear watches, going forward, will be compatible.


  16. Leo Macau - 7 years ago

    After I connect my iPhone to Moto360, the power of Moto360 run very fast.

  17. bpmajesty - 7 years ago

    First of all, this video was hilarious. LOL! The narrater has the most annoying voice ever! LOL! Sounds like an out of work talk show host! haha

  18. Michal Strzelczyk - 7 years ago

    Hey, what’s the name of that case for iphone? That’s exactly what I’m looking for.

  19. Rusdiawan (@Rusdiawan) - 7 years ago

    Just wait for an update .. this is just beginning for Android Wear in iOS .. I’m personally quite happy with this app on my iPhone …