Google has revealed that its Android Wear platform is now compatible with the iPhone. It’s been a long time coming although naturally, there are a few caveats that you’ll want to be aware of before diving in.
In a blog post announcing the news, Google said Android Wear for iOS is rolling out today and that it can pair select Android Wear watches with an iPhone 5 or newer running iOS 8.2 or later. Right now, Android Wear for iOS officially works with the LG Watch Urbane as it will with all future Android Wear watches such as the Asus ZenWatch 2 and the Huawei Watch.
As The Verge notes, other watches – like the Moto 360 – also work with the iPhone, just not in an official capacity. Google isn’t supporting older watches simply because they want them to work right away without requiring software updates.
Nevertheless, an iPhone with a compatible watch is able to handle quite a bit of tasks given Apple’s walled garden. Google points out that users will be able to check app notifications, use certain fitness features and get assistance from Google Now.
What you won’t be able to do with an Android Wear watch paired to an iPhone is use third-party apps, something that could be a deal-breaker for some.
Either way, the move gives iPhone users a number of additional choices when it comes to selecting a smartwatch. The best smartwatch to pair with an iPhone is – and will likely continue to be – the Apple Watch simply because it doesn’t have any of the restrictions that Android Wear devices are hampered by.