WhatsApp on Wear OS: Get the messaging service working on your smartwatch

Solutions for using one of the most popular messaging platforms on the planet

If you use your Wear OS smartwatch as a second screen to your phone, there's a good chance you'll want it to receive WhatsApp messages.

As one of the most popular messaging apps, with 1.5 billion users and roughly 60 billion messages sent per day, it's natural to wonder exactly how to gets WhatsApp messages beamed directly to the wrist.

Unfortunately, there is no official WhatsApp app available for Wear OS smartwatches. However, if you continue onto our full guide, you'll discover there's still a few ways to access WhatsApp through your device.

How to get WhatsApp on Wear OS

How to use WhatsApp on Wear OS

Wear OS is pretty big on notifications, so it's no surprise that WhatsApp notifications work perfectly well. However, there's a catch - notifications will only work if you have an Android phone. You'll get to reply to your WhatsApp messages right from your wrist, pulling up Wear OS's dictation feature or wrist-based keyboard to do so.

If you're an iPhone user, though, you're not going to be able to reply to any message notifications on Wear OS.

Read next: A guide to Wear OS on iPhone

It's worth keeping in mind that some Android WhatsApp users have complained they weren't able to reply to notifications on WhatsApp, too. It appears that when trying to reply, the keyboard or speak-to-type feature don't pop up. Other users have also complained about not receiving notifications in the first place.

It's unclear whether this is a bug within Wear OS, or something WhatsApp needs to address. Seeing as this issue has been in Google's forums routinely over the past, it's unclear when it could be fixed. To ensure you're doing everything you can, make sure the software on both your watch and the WhatsApp app on your phone are up to date.

Third-party WhatsApp solutions

How to use WhatsApp on Wear OS

While there isn't an official WhatsApp app, there are some enterprising third-party developers who have tried to step in and fill the gap. If you head to the Google Play Store on your Wear OS device and search for 'WhatsApp', you'll see that the first search result is 'WatchChat for WhatsApp'.

This is a $1.99 app that takes advantage of WhatsApp's Web/Desktop feature, using a QR code to sync to a web-based version of the service. WatchChat essentially tricks WhatsApp into thinking it's a web browser running WhatsApp's official web app, rather than a Wear OS app.

Unfortunately, this solution only works if you've got an Android phone, because you need the companion app on Android. Also, there's been a change that has broken WatchChat for WhatsApp. Each time you open the app on your Wear OS device, you're going to need to open up WhatsApp on your phone and get a brand new QR code to re-sync everything. A real hassle.

Read this: Best Wear OS apps

The other big third-party solution is 'Messages for Wear OS', which also requires an Android phone to work. However, it's also a full-featured solution that not only supports WhatsApp, but Facebook Messenger, Slack, Viber, Telegram, Line and more.

You'll also get the ability to view photos and videos you receive through WhatsApp, as well as looking at hyperlinks, opening links in a web browser or even opening YouTube links. When you open the app on your Android phone, you'll be prompted to connect your WhatsApp account. Then, you simply have to download the same app to your Wear OS device.

However, there's a catch here, as well. While the app works fine with Android Oreo, you will see WhatsApp messages not showing up if you have Android Pie. Appfour, the developer behind the app, is currently working on a fix.


Will there be an official WhatsApp app?

How to use WhatsApp on Wear OS

In short, probably not. The wrist just isn't a great place for text-based communication. While some people may be able to type on a wrist-based keyboard, or have no problem dictating all their messages, most people seem to be content getting WhatsApp notifications and sending quick and short replies – saving the longer replies for their phone.

Just take a look at what's happened to the Apple Watch. When Apple announced the Watch, it made communication one of its three pillars. The Side Button would launch a ring of contacts you could quickly contact, sending messages to with scribbles, or emojis, or even your heart beat.

The set of features didn't take off, and Apple pulled back on messaging as a pillar of the Apple Watch – though it did announce the voice-based Walkie Talkie feature through watchOS 5 last year.

The big question for WhatsApp comes down to whether developing a Wear OS app is worth the investment. At the moment, that feels like a 'no'.

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  • Baigs786·

    Can someone please confirm if whatsapp messages from appfour is infact not working for Android pie?