Most people will agree that Apple Watches, regardless of the generation, are the best smartwatches there is. With impeccable functionalities and a premium feel, it’s hard to find a smartwatch that comes close to it. Let’s just say that you can’t compare a smartwatch to an Apple Watch unless it’s also an Apple Watch. For this, many people are looking to get this particular device even those who don’t own an iPhone. This leads us to the question: can you pair an Apple Watch with Android phones?
In this article, we’ll answer in detail whether you can use an Apple Watch with Android phones. By the end of this article, you should know how to make these two devices from different ecosystems partially work together.
Can You Connect Your Apple Watch With Android Phones?
Let’s cut to the chase, you cannot connect an Apple Watch with an Android phone because Apple doesn’t provide that feature out of the box. It may sound a bummer, but the official Apple Watch app is not available on Google Play Store, and pairing the two via Bluetooth wouldn’t simply work. Once you decide to purchase an Apple Watch, you also pretty much need an iPhone to get it activated.
The official Apple support page also doesn’t provide or even confirm the ability of Apple Watches to connect with an Android phone. But thanks to inquisitive tech junkies online, there are now specific ways to make an Apple Watch partially work with Android. It may cause some features of the watch not to work but if you think you’re okay with that risk, then you can dig deeper into your options. A friendly reminder though, you will still an iPhone along the process.
Things You Need to Get Started
Before you proceed to use your Apple Watch with an Android phone, there are few things you need to prepare. Making these devices work hand in hand will need not only just your Android phone and Apple Watch but some other things as well. So, here they are.
Apple Watch With LTE
In case you don’t know, there are two variants of the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch GPS and Apple Watch Cellular. You can easily distinguish the cellular from the GPS-only version through the power button crown of the device, which is usually marked in red. Using a cellular-enabled Apple watch will allow you to connect to the internet, receive and send messages, and make calls even when you are right and about. Since you can’t use Bluetooth between an Apple Watch and an Android phone, you will be needing a cellular network connection instead.
We couldn’t stress this enough, you need an iPhone even when you intend to use your Apple Watch with an Android phone. You will initially need this for the activation of your smartwatch.
Any working Android phone will work but for the best experience, you can use one with the latest operating system.
Your iPhone’s SIM Card
You will also be needing the SIM card on your iPhone, which is also tied to your Apple Watch cellular. You will know why in the succeeding section.
Now that you have all the items checked, you can proceed with letting your Apple Watch work side-by-side with your Android phone.
Connecting Apple Watch With Android Phones
Before anything else, make sure that its cellular feature is correctly configured. You can activate it upon setting up your Apple Watch for the first time, or via the Apple Watch app. Upon launching the app, go to the My Watch tab, click on Cellular, then tap on set up cellular. If your current cellular plan supports adding an extra SIM card, in this case, an eSIM for Apple Watch, just follow the prompts that will appear on your screen. If not, you might need to contact your carrier to get a new plan.
Once the cellular feature is activated on your Apple Watch, carefully remove the nano-SIM card from your iPhone, insert it into your Android phone, then boot up your phone. It should then connect to your carrier’s network as with the Apple Watch. Since your Android phone and your watch are now sharing the same mobile number, they should receive notifications for messages and calls simultaneously.
What Happens to Your iPhone Then?
Since you have transferred your iPhone’s SIM card to your Android device, you will also stop getting messages and calls on it. Note that the solution we have provided above only helps when you want an Apple Watch but don’t want to let go of your Android phone.
But what if you want to keep your Apple Watch in sync with your iPhone while staying connected with an Android phone via cellular? Well, getting a shared digit for all three devices might help. The largest networks in the US such as T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T offer a mobile plan that allows you to share a mobile number with multiple devices. This way you’ll receive calls, and ideally messages, simultaneously on your watch, iPhone, and Android phone.
Disadvantages of Using Apple Watch With Android Phones
Using your Apple Watch with Android phones has more disadvantages than perks. While being able to connect these two devices via a cellular network sounds appealing, we would say that it’s impractical overall.
Getting an Apple Watch will already cost you a fortune, but using it with an Android phone can get even more expensive. First, you have to get an additional cellular plan for your smartwatch, and your Android phone as well if you want to keep using your iPhone. Second, an iPhone is a prerequisite for activating your Apple Watch. Unless you have a friend that can lend you an iPhone and is willing to exchange data with your smartwatch — which we highly doubt — there’s no skipping to getting an iPhone to unleash the full potential of your Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Data Won’t Sync on Android
For the nth times, Apple Watch won’t connect to any phones other than iPhones via Bluetooth and GPS, so it won’t also be able to sync its activities. For instance, you won’t be able to control the music playing on your Android Phone using your Apple Watch like you would be able to on an iPhone.
In case you didn’t give up your iPhone, you will still be able to access your Apple Watch stats via the companion app. But the worst part is some apps, such as messaging, may act differently when you connect your watch with Android phones while keeping it connected on iPhone via Bluetooth.
You Can’t Give Up Your iPhone
You have finally decided to give up your iPhone and stick to using your Apple Watch with your Android phone — trust us, you wouldn’t want to do that. Major features such as messaging and Health and Activity tracking will continue to work on the watch itself because of its separate cellular connection. However, fidgeting between apps on Apple Watch can be cumbersome, let alone the limited apps you can use. To elaborate, using an Apple Watch without an iPhone will limit you to using Apple-owned apps like Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Maps.
Use Android Smartwatches Instead
Using an Apple Watch will confine you to the walled garden of Apple. You cannot maximize its features or use it in the first place without getting an iPhone as well. While using your cellular-enabled Apple Watch with Android phones is now possible, it doesn’t give you much other than messaging and calling features.
We won’t recommend using an Apple Watch with an Android phone; neither do we recommend getting an Apple Watch if you do not have an iPhone in the first place. If you are an Android phone user looking to get a smartwatch, it’s beneficial to get an Android smartwatch instead. Other impressive smartwatch brands will work more seamlessly with an Android phone than an Apple Watch will.