WhatsApp on Wear OS explained: Get messages on your smartwatch

Solutions for using one of the most popular messaging platforms on the planet
How to use WhatsApp 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 1.5 billion users and roughly 60 billion messages sent per day, it's natural to wonder exactly how to get WhatsApp messages working on your Google-powered smartwatch.

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 4, Fossil Gen 6 or Skagen Falster Gen 6 won't find an app in the Google Play Store.

However there are still a few ways to access WhatsApp through your Wear OS smartwatch.

How to get WhatsApp on Wear OS on iOS and Android

How to use WhatsApp on Wear OS

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 Wear OS's 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.

Wear OS WhatsApp notifications not working?

How to use WhatsApp on Wear OS

It's worth keeping in mind that experiencing the odd problem with Android WhatsApp notifications isn't uncommon too. It's a rare occurrence, in our experience, but you might find the keyboard or speak-to-type feature don'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 is 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 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.

One of the apps you can try out is called Informer and 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, which is currently the only smartwatch running on Wear OS 3.0.

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 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, has come up with a fix, though we haven't been able to test it out and see if it's resolved.

Is WhatsApp working on an official app?

We can't say for certain, but it's unlikely. 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 heartbeat.

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 right now.