Android Wear on iPhone: Our guide to getting your Google / iOS smartwatch fix

What you can and can't do with Android Wear on iOS and what devices will work
Android Wear on iPhone guide

Google took us all by surprise when it decided to make Android Wear compatible with the iPhone. What Android Wear for iOS enables you do is to pair your iPhone with your Google flavoured Android Wear smartwatch.

So, if you've thought about avoiding the Apple Watch and buying a Moto 360 2, the Huawei Watch, or even the Fossil Q Founder, but are tied to Apple's mobile operating system, with Android Wear on iOS, you'll have the best of both worlds. Well, sort of.

At the moment it's pretty limited but Android Wear 2.0, landing later this year, should expand the offering.

Read this: Google Fit v Apple Health

Read on to find out what you can and can't do with Android Wear on your iPhone; what devices will work; and how you'll set everything up...

Android Wear on iOS: What devices work?

Initially, Android Wear for iOS only worked with LG Watch Urbane but the list of compatible smartwatches has grown significantly. Here's the complete list:

ASUS ZenWatch 2, Huawei Watch, Fossil Q Founder, LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360 (2nd Gen), Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 Sport and TAG Heuer Connected.

We have been able to successfully pair older Android Wear devices with our iPhone, including the Moto 360. The key is having the latest version of the Android Wear firmware and then hard resetting your smartwatch before attempting to pair with an iOS handset. For the most reliable experience, stick to the smartwatches Google recommends.

To make sure your Wear software is up to date, simply go to Settings > About > System updates.

On the fruity side of the setup you'll need an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus or SE running iOS 8.2+. No iPads allowed. Sorry.

Android Wear on iOS: Initial setup

Pairing with an iPhone is a fairly straightforward affair. Simply fire up the Android Wear device and select to pair a new Android Wear device.

You'll be prompted to enter a Bluetooth pairing code and you'll also have tick a number of boxes for various permission prompts - Google Fit data, location, Bluetooth Low Energy - in order to make your Android Wear watch anywhere near useful.

It will then update the watch's software to the latest version and present you with an Android Wear tutorial.

Bear in mind that you'll need to have reset your smartwatch first - you can't pair a watch with both an iPhone and an Android phone. You can, however, have more than one smartwatch synced with the iOS app.

Android Wear on iOS: What it does

Due to Apple's enforced restrictions with iOS, the Android Wear experience isn't an exact replica of the Google smartphone one.

Apple doesn't allow competing app stores on the iPhone, so third-party Android apps are not allowed. That means you'll be limited to what's baked into your smartwatch - i.e the basic Google apps.

You will, however, get push notifications from your iOS apps right on your Android Wear smartwatch. That doesn't just mean texts, emails and calendar reminders, either - we're talking the whole third party shebang.

Essentially, anything that shows up in your iPhone's notifications panel will land on your smartwatch as well - WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, BBC News... the lot. And a nice touch is that, if you swipe to dismiss the notification on your wrist, it also dismisses it on your smartphone too (the notification, not the whole message).

Google Now is on board - you can toggle the settings in the companion iPhone app - so you'll get traffic reports, football scores, diary reminders and much more.

Incoming calls are also a part of the process although, like the Android experience, it's only really useful to dismiss a call - there's no point answering one as you can't speak through an Android Wear smartwatch.

Music controls work - we've tested with Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube - although album artwork doesn't seem to be transferring across with any of these.

Your Android Wear device will count your steps and provide the basic activity metrics of Google Fit - on the smartwatch only though, it's not transferred across to Apple Health or anything like that.

From the Android Wear iOS app, you can switch on the tilt to wake gesture, block notifications from certain apps and there's the option to have an always on screen.

Android Wear on iOS: What it doesn't do

As mentioned, there's no third party app support... yet. So, if you're looking forward to using Android Wear app extensions from the likes of The Guardian, Endomondo or Todoist, you're going to be disappointed.

Replying to texts or messages from the app is also out of the question - apart from Gmail emails. You can turn on rich Gmail previews from within the iPhone app and from there you can reply to your messages. Be warned though, there's no preview - the watch will simply ping your reply as soon as you finish speaking it. Risky business.

Offline music storage and playback doesn't appear to be part of the package either - so bad news for Bluetooth streamers.

The "OK Google" commands are very limited. There's no way of setting up a "Call me a cab" for example. You're limited to Google searches and actions within Google's own apps.

However, with Android Wear 2.0 Google is removing the Data Layer APIs, giving devs a lot more freedom, resulting in a a lot more functionality for Wearers users who pair their smartwatch with an iPhone.

We'll update this guide when the big update lands later this year.

Android Wear on iOS: The iPhone app

Android Wear on iPhone guide

The Android Wear iPhone app is stripped back to say the least. It will show you your paired device (and you can add others) but the apps section of the Android equivalent is simply a section called 'Tips', which just tells you how to perform basic actions like setting an alarm or entering a calendar entry.

The settings menu lets you change all the basic options like screen dim, card previews, blocked apps and so on - and you can also set what calendar you want the watch to sync with: Apple's or Google's.

You can also change the watch face although, as no Google Play access is on offer, you are limited to the official Android Wear designs, as well as around 15 more that Google has deemed appropriate - these need to be dowloaded separately.

Got any questions about using Android Wear on an iPhone? Let us know in the comments section below.


  • ZJNM says:

    Did you mean ios 8.0.2 for ios 8.2

    • ZJNM says:

      Ios 8.0.2 or ios 8.2

  • pcumming says:

    Can you explain how you download the separate 15 watch faces?

    "You can also change the watch face although, as no Google Play access is on offer, you are limited to the official Android Wear designs, as well as around 15 more that Google has deemed appropriate - these need to be dowloaded separately"

    • MattFromPhilly says:

      You have to be in the Android Wear app on the iPhone. Where it says Watch faces with three to choose from, click the MORE button. That shows you all of the default faces. At the bottom hit Get more watch faces to go to the additional options. For each one, you have to select it and then hit INSTALL. Any that you already installed will show UNINSTALL instead.

      • Paul21 says:

        I have Android Wear on my Iphone 6 to work with the LG Urbane but I do not have the section that shows watch faces in the Android wear app, only shows TIPS.

        • mlt says:

          I have the same issue.  IPhone 6Plus paired with LG Urbane.  Watch is paired but Android Wear has no options to change watch faces.

          • fvdb says:

            Same problem here.  Iphone SE only shows tips below the LG watch picture.  Does anyone know how to resolve this issue?

            • pch3982 says:

              Yep, get a 'Droid phone already...

            • Ute says:

              I had the same problem.  Update your watch's OS, etc, and the watch faces should show up. Though I had some difficulty doing so, I updated my LG Urbane from 1.1.1.something to 1.4 (via the phone's system update button). That solved the problem for me. 

      • k60sgb says:

        are there any plans to introduce more apps which will allow for other watch faces to be added via an Iphone, or is there a workaround to this problem as there are hundreds of other faces on google play.

  • Brady says:

    Would I be able to put apps like Endomondo or Golfshot on my Sony Smartwatch 3 if I have it paired with an iPhone?

    • Qwertyu says:


  • pauls says:

    What about heart rate sensors? Can for example my strava app on the iphone access heart rate date?

  • Tmatysij says:

    how do you open app on iPhone so watch stays connected?

    • Doug64 says:

      Once you open the "Android Wear" app on your iPhone, go to your watch and tap re-connect. Leave the Android Wear app running in the background of your phone. Do not force quit the app and you should be all set

  • Cait1225 says:

    do you think they will ever open up interactive notifications? Or if anyone In the jailbreak community is working on this? I ordered a zenwatch 2. I know it's not the fanciest option out there, but the smaller size suits my fancy, and I like the square look. Right now I'm fine with just being able to view notifications. Comes in handy when you're at a place where whipping out your phone isn't always appropriate (school/work) but if it's an emergency, it's nice to be able to see. I got the zenwatch over the apple watches cheapest option in case I decided to switch over to android, no need to buy a new watch too. Also, in case I change my mind and try to resell the watch I'll have a larger purchasing audience. 

  • JayStern says:

    I just got the Hiawei smart watch, and I love it. 

    I have an iPhone, and realize that customizing my watch face seems to be imposed. So, I have a few questions. 

    1) If I bought an Android tablet and new watch faces, could I store them into my watch, and then re-pair with my iPhone, while keeping new faces?

    2) Is there another way to buy, edit new faces and get them into the Android Wear for iPhone app?

    3) Are there any plans that Google will add new faces, or third party face developers to their app?

    4) Or does it look like this is all we get for the foreseeable future?

    Thank you kindly. 


  • Perkins says:

    yes will change next time

  • catsynth says:

    I have both Android and iOS phones.  If I pair it with my Android device, get 3rd party apps, and then pair it back to iOS, will those 3rd party apps still work (at least standalone)?

    • Bxs0001 says:

      catsynth, did it work??

  • ZiadAlAlaf says:

    Hi, i am using Tag Heuer Connected with Android wear on iPhone. It works perfectly absolutely no problems, except that i am not getting the contacts photos on the watch when receiving calls or messages. Any ideas how to fix this. Thnx

    • PJSCOTT says:

      I just received my Tag Heur Connected and bluetooth continually drops, 9.3.2, Tag Support say this is apples doing and there is no workaround at the moment. Any ideas? 

  • solmai says:

    it's rain battery so fast Moto360 (2nd) and warm. and can't charge until disconnect blutooth with iphone. any one have same problem?

  • JayH says:

    I just purchased a 360 sport watch.  I was told it would track and record my heart rate continuously but as of now I can only see my current rate  then tap to rescan.  Is there an app that I should have to record the continuous heart rate.

  • wAi724 says:

    I'm using Aerlink on my iPhone to connect with my watch, I used an old android phone to load all the faces I wanted on to my watch and so far it's perfectly fine

    • storm77 says:


      how have you done that ???

      As it wont let you pair 2 devices at once. 

      I have iphone 6s+ and sony smartwatch 3

    • marnone79 says:

      i have aerlink but its not syncing to my zenwatch 2, suggestions?

  • robo says:

    I am a technophobe and however much I read about it I cannot understand what does and does not work with IOS and Android smartwatches. I want to buy a Haewai watch which has a microphone and speaker so does it let you make and receive calls direct from the watch or should I just bin IOS and buy an android phone???!!!

  • Viabhav says:

    Hi there, I received the Huawei watch as a gift and I use iPhone. I see it has limited functionality but will I be able to control 'Music' app through the watch? For example, select songs, pause/play etc? Also, I've downloaded heaps of Google Apps on my iPhone. Will those apps (that are comaptible with the watch) work with the phone? If yes, it will do 80% of what I want it to do. Otherwise, I will look at selling it. Please advise. 

  • Fah1m says:

    This article has cleared many of my doubts and so far the most helpful one of them all. However there are a few more areas which should have been covered, mainly the extra limitations when android wear(1.4) is paired with an iPhone.

    1. there is no Bluetooth or WiFi option in the settings menu. android has it.

    2. you cannot unpair with an iPhone and pair it with an android right away, it prompts for a factory reset. so i have to erase everything if i have to switch between android or ios.

    3. no phone call/contacts call option if you pair this to an iPhone. android has it.

    4. watch faces are very very limited.

    Chances are you might lose interest in the device much sooner if it is paired to an iPhone.

    Hope android wear 2.0 solves these issues.

  • techiegurlz says:

    Hi,The article is quite informative.

    But I am facing a problem with my Moto 360(2nd gen) getting disconnected continuously from my Iphone. Any idea what could be the issue? Both the SW are up-to-date.

    Also once I connected to my Iphone after unpairing from my android phone the Wi-fi option vanished.

  • amordor says:

    Just bought a refurbished Moto360 (1st) and was hoping to pair it with my iPhone but nothing happens after the factory reset of the Moto360 watch. Apparently, my phone (loaded with the latest version of Android Wear cannot "find" the watch. Is the Moto360 (1st) even compatible with the iPhone? or must I have a Moto360 (2nd)? HELP!

  • bradwexler says:

    my android wear watch receives phone calls from my iphone, but does not receive text notifications.  any thoughts?

  • RebeccaC says:

    I'm excited to get my new watch on Monday. The LG Urbane. I prefer to wear my watch with the face on the inside of my wrist. Will that interfere with its ability to register heart rate? TIA

  • Jlamotte says:

    I bought an LG Urbane w150, all notifications come thru but no Bluetooth nor wi-fi options, paired with iPhone 6s Plus, running and rid wear 1.5.0 2884951, watch says system is up to date.

  • JNC says:

    Hi all!

    I got an LG Urbane 2 up and running on iOS with a fair amount of apps installed. What have I done?

    - First of all I installed the Android Wear (AW) 2.0 Developer version, following instructions from here: It's ok, no warranty void if you make sure to reinstall the previous version of AW and lock the oem again in case you need warranty activation. Used ADB from here:; do make sure you use the latest AW OS, the ones in the mirrors are old.

    - You don't actually need to do this, you can stick with the current OS, main limitation being the impossibility to control BT and Wifi connections (and I mean also BT speakers/headset) and the unavailability of the brilliant keyboard on AW 2.0. Just have to activate developer options and ADB debugging, a reversible action that does not void warranty, and the oem unlocking can be re-locked to restore warranty.

    - iOS makes AW pretty limited, so I paired with an android phone and installed a bunch of apps that work as standalone on the watch. I then "pulled" them from the watch using ADB. Next step I paired my watch back with the iPhone, and installed the watch APKs only. Some worked, some didn't.

    - Then I tried a couple of simple and clean phone app apks that i sideloaded into the watch using adb again. Some worked, many didn't.

    - With this I have IFTTTs "DO" and "DO Note" (hail for that), Google maps (not 100%, but "ok"), a note taking app, a voice recording app, a standalone music player, speedometer, calculator, compass, a couple of simple games, and a few other... Couldn't find a decent music streaming app working, neither a decent browser.

    - Major issue is the inability to use cellular data, probably still beta-OS related.

    If needed, I can upload some of the APKs I extracted (not everyone has acess to both an iPhone and an Android phone as I was lucky to be) for you to sideload.

    Have fun!!

    • rimass says:

      Is it possible to set a call  between the watch and iphone and use the microphone and speaker from the watch? Or is this  also no feature of AW2.0 ?

    • username1 says:

      I have an asus zenwatch 2 paired with IOS.  It came preinstalled with jawbone up step tracker.  However, an update to asus removed that app from the watch.   Now I cannot get UP back on the watch due to the 3rd party limitation of androidwear for IOS.  

      I understand the adb process but the problem is if I connect to an android phone via android wear and load it up, then try to reconnect to my iphone, the only way to do that is to unpair which removes the apps from the phone.

      It appears you have done this somehow without losing the apps.  Once you have repaired with iphone through android wear how do you sideload the apps to the watch?  Every tutorial I have watched uses the android wear app to create the connection.  Again, if this is done it forces me to reset the watch and lose the apps.  

      Id appreciate any help. Thank you

  • pfeifmal says:

    I am using IPhone 6 and Android wear with ASUS ZEN Watch 2 with latest updates.

    The Call quality in my car over bluetooth is really bad if the ZEN Watch is

    connected in parallel.

    Is it possible to cut the Watch BT Connection during BT call?



    • ColonelKlinc says:

      Same here. The bluetooth in my car is really scratchy with the Moto 360 connected at the same time. 

  • Jimt29 says:

    Thanks for all the info. Have the Huawei with the iPhone 5. All work fine. Looking forward to the 2.0 update 

  • Laureentiu says:

    hey! i'm happy to use LG URBAN 2 and sync with iphone 5s and IOS 9.2.1

    I'm not happy with that when i sync my LG with iPhone the bluetooth and wifi settings disappears from my LG URBAN 2 settings. If i pair the watch with an android device this functionality is remaining there. I use last AW version. Why is that like this?

  • Matt_biddle says:

    can you access your photo gallery with the watch

  • SHane12 says:


  • Mark1975 says:

    mail notifications from Iphone SE to a Fossil Q founder is not working.

    Does anyone know with which mail app the notifications on the Fossil Q founder do work?

  • vclay06 says:

    tried all the options to charge Michael Kors Bradshaw smartphone using computer USB, ac adapter that I use for iPhone and it will not charge.  Finally powered off the smartwatch to see if that would help.  Now cannot get the smartwatch on.  When I use the power on button on side of watch it will show the batch life symbol, but will not go to the screen.  What now?

  • Mihal says:

    got the MK Bradshaw - using with iPhone 6. Can't seem to get texts to show on watch. Any ideas?

  • twinagigi says:

    I got the new Michael Kors Bradshaw smart watch and I love it. It works perfectly with my iPhone 6, except for the maps app doesn't show up on my watch. Is there a trick or something that I can do to make this happen. 

  • Pooh says:

    Can i use any tracking app between moto 360 gen 2 and iphone6 ?

  • OmerNamankani says:

    any news about the big update yet so we can enjoy this amazing watch on Iphones???

  • Merwin says:

    just wanted to know when is the update will be released so that i can use my tag heuer connected with my iphone 7 plus?

  • joelleee says:

    what about contacts? I can't see any of my contacts list on my watch. You're suppose to have 3 scrolls, the second is suppose to be contacts. Is that something we don't get as well on the iPhone? 

  • zakernet says:

    Has anyone gotten AW 2.0 to work with the iphone? I don't have an android phone also.

  • jccisneros92 says:


    I just got an MK Access Smartwatch today, and I'm not sure but does the "Open on Phone" action only work when connected to an Android device? I'm aware replying is not compatible with iOS, but do actions also only work with Android?

    I haven't been able to do do any action other than blocking the notifications for the app.

  • Merwin says:

    Tag Heuer Connected now is able to connect with iPhone 7 or Plus. Upgrade your watch software until you see software numbered M1D64B on your watch.

  • Anza says:


    Is there any way to transfere music to my smartwatch 3 while its paired with my Iphone 6?

    Thats a nice benefit with this watch, cause it has 2GB storage. But I cant figure out how to do it.

  • Rachaelm says:

    I'm using a Michael kors snartwatch with my iPhone. Up to date on software to latest versions but my watch only gives me real time updates/ info and Facebook etc notifications when the actual app is open on my phone. My watch says it's disconnected when my phone is in another app or on lock screen. Can you help? 

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