Reviews for the Apple Watch came out earlier this week and they were far from glowing. While reviewers praised the design and the innovative features like the “Digital Crown,” many questioned the actual need for the device — and even smartwatches in general. Despite the “meh” reviews, Apple fanatics are pre-ordering the Apple Watch at a furious pace, with shipping times stretching out into the June timeframe and beyond for some models.
So what about people that have completely bought into the idea of smartwatches, are prepared to make the dive, happen to own an iPhone, but don’t like the design aesthetic (or perhaps the outrageous price) of the Apple Watch? There’s always the Pebble smartwatch, but those devices are somewhat limited compared to what an Apple Watch offers. That leaves us with Android Wear — yes, those often gorgeous smartwatches running an operating system from none other than Google.
According to a new report from The Verge, Google engineers are hard at work on a way to allow Android Wear smartwatches to pair with iPhones. The iOS/Android Wear mashup is made possible via a companion app that is installed on a user’s iPhone. Once installed, Google Now Cards, voice search, and dictation options are enabled. Basic iOS system notifications are also enabled, as seen in the screenshot below that shows a missed FaceTime call.
iOS system notifications on an LG G Watch R (Source: The Verge)
You can also expect to see deep integration with popular Google iOS apps like Gmail and Google Maps.
We doubt that Apple would have any reason to deny the approval of an Android Wear iOS companion app in the App Store — after all, there are similar apps already available for the aforementioned Pebble. So it’s up to Google to “git ‘er dun” on this front.
But the question remains, will typically loyal Apple fans crossover to the Google camp to purchase an Android Wear smartwatch? While it sounds as though the Android Wear iOS companion app provides for a lot of functionality, it wouldn’t provide the same seamless pairing as seen with an iPhone and an Apple Watch. But for Apple fans that are completely turned off by the Apple Watch’s rectangular design, the appeal of a device like the Motorola Moto 360, LG Watch Urbane or Huawei Watch may be too much to ignore.