Officially – No. Apple did not provide any other options for working with their watches except with an iPhone. For initial setup, you will need an iOS device nearby, after pairing with which you can use the basic functions of a smartwatch, such as tracking your activity, viewing the clock and setting timers, writing notes. But for people who want to carry two devices with different operating systems at once, there is a solution. About it further.
Connecting Android and Apple Watch
Although the iWatch has Bluetooth, the device will give an error in a typical connection attempt. This is due to the fact that the data transmitted through the watch almost all are encrypted. It will not work to connect them via Wi-Fi. LTE comes to the rescue.
When using this method, you should understand that most of the additional functionality in smartwatch will not work. And in fact, this is not a direct connection to the Android smartphone. We will use the cellular network as the main method of obtaining data for WatchOS device.
What you need:
- iPhone 6 and later, unlocked
- Apple Watch LTE version, unlocked
- Unlocked Android smartphone (for example, Samsung Galaxy)
- A removal tool for extracting a SIM card from both smartphones
Unlocked your phone or not you can understand on the basis of where you bought it and whether it is possible to change the SIM card in it. If you purchased an iPhone with a contract of an operator, and after changing the SIM card, your phone does not detect a new cellular network, then it is locked. The same goes for Android smartphones. Additionally, you can use the services for checking IMEI numbers.
Check in advance if your operator supports the devices with eSIM to which the iWatch applies. If you are in the US, then such giants as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon support this technology.
First of all, connect Apple Watch to the iPhone and perform the initial configuration. During it, data about the cellular network will be downloaded to your watch, so they can start working regardless of the presence of the phone. You can also prepare in advance a list of applications that you need and are able to work without having an iOS device nearby. Download and install them. Add your bank card to the Apple Wallet if you want to access contactless payment. Download music to your device, if available.
Next, perform the following steps:
- Turn off the iPhone.
- Turn off Apple Watch.
- Remove the SIM card from the iPhone.
- Insert the SIM card into the Android Smartphone and turn it on.
- After connecting to the cellular network, turn on Apple Watch.
At this stage, your watch should connect to LTE and start receiving the Internet signal, working with regular applications that do not require an active connection with iOS.
A more complete list of available functions of a watch without a phone nearby you can find in our article.
What features will be available
Almost all the functions that are available to users with LTE version of watches:
- Use Siri to make and receive calls. Note that the method is limited to contacts that are stored on your SIM Card (not on the device!).
- Getting weather data.
- Set the alarm, timer, use a stopwatch.
- Leaving notes.
- Contactless payment.
- Listening to music, radio, podcasts (if they were downloaded beforehand).
- Using applications that were previously downloaded and do not require a phone.
- Pulse control, EKG.
Among the cons, this is the inaccessibility of most of the iWatch functionality exactly as a fitness bracelet. You cannot upload your exercise data from the Workouts app to Google Fit. The battery when using LTE is drained much faster than when using similar Wi-Fi. You may have to manually turn off the cellular connection to save battery power.
Considering all of the above, having the same Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel in hand, you still need to turn your attention to devices like the Samsung Gear Watch, Fitbit or other smart watches based on Wear OS. They will easily pair with your smartphone and will work as it should. Perhaps in the future, Apple will make broader support for other operating systems, but at the moment we do not recommend you to purchase such a combination of devices.