WhatsApp on Wear OS explained: How to get messages on your smartwatch

Solutions for using one of the most popular messaging platforms on the planet
Wareable whatsapp app on wear os
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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 over 2 billion users and roughly 100 billion messages sent per day, it's natural to wonder exactly how to get WhatsApp messages working on your Google-powered smartwatch.

Related: Complete guide to Wear OS

Like the Apple Watch, there's no official WhatsApp app available for Wear OS smartwatches. That means users of devices like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Fossil Gen 6 or Skagen Falster Gen 6 won't be able to access an equivalent app in the smartwatch section of the Google Play Store.

However, there are still a few ways to access WhatsApp through your Wear OS smartwatch. And there are, at least, promising features and integrations landing soon, such as the ability to answer WhatsApp calls on Wear OS devices.

How to get WhatsApp on Wear OS (Android and iOS)

WareableWhatsApp on Wear OS explained: Get messages on your smartwatch

Your Wear OS watch is pretty good at handling notifications, and WhatsApp notifications work perfectly well. However, full WhatsApp notification support will only work if you have an Android phone.

Providing you have notifications enabled, you'll get to reply to your WhatsApp messages right from your wrist, pulling up the Wear OS dictation feature or wrist-based keyboard to do so.

Read next: A guide to Wear OS on iPhone

If you're an iOS/iPhone user, you're not going to be able to reply to any message notifications on Wear OS. However, if notifications are enabled on both your watch and your phone, you should be able to view them on your wrist and mark them as read.

What to do if Wear OS WhatsApp notifications aren't working

WareableWhatsApp on Wear OS explained: Get messages on your smartwatch

It's worth keeping in mind that experiencing the odd problem with Android WhatsApp notifications isn't uncommon, as well. It's a rare occurrence, in our experience, but you might find the keyboard or speak-to-type feature doesn't pop up when you're trying to reply.

Follow this checklist to troubleshoot any problems. Covering off these basics should ensure your phone and the connected Wear OS smartwatch are receiving WhatsApp notifications.

  • Check your phone's Bluetooth settings and ensure your Wear OS smartwatch is connected
  • Check that you are logged into WhatsApp on your phone
  • On your Wear OS smartwatch, go to 'Settings' before tapping 'Notifications' and checking they're turned on
  • Turn off power-saving modes that limit notifications, such as Do Not Disturb
  • In your phone's notification settings, check WhatsApp is set up to allow notifications
  • Check that the software on your watch and the WhatsApp app on your phone is up to date

WhatsApp Wear OS apps to try

Wareablewhatsapp apps for 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.

One of the apps you can try out is called Informer, which requires a premium subscription to do things like listen to voice messages, accept video calls and mute selected chats. So, essentially you're going to need to pay here to get a really good experience on your Wear OS watch.

It's an app that will only work with Android phones and does support compatibility with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, though it's not clear whether this works with other Wear OS 3 devices.

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

You'll also get the ability to view photos and videos you receive through WhatsApp, as well as the ability to look at hyperlinks, open links in a web browser and even open 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.

Is WhatsApp working on an official Wear OS app?

As we alluded to up top, a feature in WhatsApp beta from September indicated that call notifications would soon be coming to both the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5. 

Though not confirmed or released just yet, this appears to include the ability to take the phone call directly from the wrist, with the WhatsApp icon appearing in order to differentiate it from a regular call.

And though news like this is encouraging, and shows WhatsApp integration is improving, there's nothing to suggest that an official app is coming anytime soon.

In a way, this makes sense, too. 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.

We just hope WhatsApp continues to develop new and interesting features for Wear OS - even if it isn't a full-fledged app experience.


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Conor Allison

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Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 


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