Android Wear for iOS announced, available on new smartwatches for now

There’s been some rumors running wild in tech, particularly in the area of Android Wear and iOS compatibility. Several weeks ago, there was a rumor that Android Wear would come to iOS, and that day has finally arrived.

Google has announced Android Wear for iOS today, with the company stating that its wearables platform will work on iOS – but with one caveat. What is it, you ask? The one caveat is that Android Wear for iOS will only work with new smartwatches for now. The new smartwatches that come Android Wear for iOS compatible are 1) LG Watch Urbane, which is the newest of LG’s Android Wear smartwatches (G Watch, G Watch R, and LG Watch Urbane coming in that order), 2) Asus Zenwatch 2, and 3) Huawei Watch. Neither the Huawei Watch nor the Asus Zenwatch 2 have been announced yet, leaving only LG’s latest Android Wear smartwatch as Android Wear for iOS-ready for now.

Google’s decision to announce Android Wear for iOS has a lot to do with the search engine giant’s commitment to cross-platform apps and services, but some believe that “competition” is “the elephant in the room” with the company’s move to bring its fledgling, unpopular platform over to iOS for consumers in the mood to “flirt” with Android. After all, Android Wear smartwatches will compete with iPhone buyers alongside of Apple’s Apple Watch, and Google hopes that its more affordable offerings, coupled with users’ reliance on Gmail, Google Maps, and other Google services for convenience, will steer buyers over to Android Wear. Google knows that Android Wear for iOS may prove to be more popular than the platform’s existence on Android for a number of reasons. First, a number of iOS buyers don’t mind paying premium prices for excellent devices, and the newest Android Wear watches, including the Huawei Watch, provide classy hardware that could make Android Wear for iOS enticing to try, at least, if not remain loyal to over the next few years.

Next, Android Wear for iOS is a good idea because it seems as though many consumers in the market are not loyal to only one operating system. There are many Android smartphone users, for example, who own a Samsung smartphone but use Apple’s iPad for media and game consumption. There are a number of iPhone owners, for example, who use Android tablets when it comes to functionality. While Google (Android), Samsung (Tizen), and Apple (iOS) all want to pull you into one ecosystem, human purchases and consumption are complicated – with many users owning two platforms’ devices and using them on a regular, if not daily, basis.

Unfortunately, Android Wear for iOS will work with the newer watches, with the Watch Urbane and the Huawei Watch having rather expensive price tags out-of-pocket. The Asus Zenwatch 2 may prove to be the most inexpensive of these three smartwatches, but a number of Android Wear consumers may turn upset over the fact that Google only wants Android Wear for iOS to work with newer smartwatches (overlooking the Moto 360, G Watch, G Watch R, first-gen. Asus Zenwatch, and the Samsung Gear Live).


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