Google’s Android Wear Now Works on iPhones
Google’s (GOOG) Android Wear, the search giant’s OS variant for smartwatches and other wearables, now works on Apple’s iOS platform, as in the iPhone.
“When you wear something every day, you want to be sure it really works for you,” David Singleton, Android Wear engineering director, wrote in a blog post. “And now, Android Wear watches work with iPhones. Android Wear for iOS is rolling out today,” he said.
Users pairing and Android Wear smartwatch with any one of a number of iPhone models, specifically the iPhone 5, 5s, 6 or 6Plus (and presumably the upcoming 6s and 6s Plus) running iOS 8.2 or later, gain a feature set that includes notifications, Google Now cards, some native apps, voice search, fitness tracking and access to some Google apps such as Calendar and Gmail.
Out of the gate, the only smartwatch Android Wear for iOS works with is the LG Watch Urbane but upcoming models from Huawei, Asus, and Motorola also will support iOS, Singleton said.
Jeff Chang, Wear lead product manager, told the Verge that Google will operate as an iOS developer and abide by Apple’s app policies with Wear for iOS.
“Basically, like any other iOS developer, we work with Apple to make sure we understand and abide by their guidelines, what the policies for the apps are,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing, and we’ll continue to do that as we make updates to the app in the future.”
Chang said that with a feature set that includes notifications, voice search and Google Now cards, the vendor has its bases covered.
“Our vision is a lot of diversity of hardware choices regardless of what phone you use,” he said. “You’ll be able to get the watch you want.”
Price competition typically comes along with market diversity and options so we are likely to see a host of Android Wear for iOS smartwatches on the market with some downward pricing pressure on Apple’s $349 base Watch.