In case you didn’t catch it earlier, Android Wear now works with iOS. Sort of. I mean, it does, but not really.
Writing for The Verge, Dieter Bohn sums it up pretty nicely:
There’s an important caveat, though: when paired to an iPhone, Android Wear watches can’t do as much as the Apple Watch. Nor can they do as much as they can when paired to an Android phone. Right now, only three watches officially support the iPhone, two of which aren’t even available for purchase yet: the Huawei Watch, the Asus ZenWatch 2, and the LG Watch Urbane.
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Further, Android Wear Product Manager Jeff Chang says Google has no plans to support older Android Wear smartwatches. “In order to guarantee a good experience, where out of the box it will work immediately and you don’t have to do any fancy footwork, that’s why it has to be the newer watches.”
Android Wear on iOS offers basic functionality, but everything is a work-around. If you want anything more than a simple notification center on your wrist, you’d probably want to download a bunch of Google apps like Calendar and Search, which tether you to Google. Android Wear has quite a bit of the functionality (like Calendar or Fit) built in, but without the accompanying app, it’s little more than a glance at info.
Choice is cool, but what are you actually getting if you go with Android Wear? I’d argue Apple Watch’s native health features are much better than anything you’ll find with Google Fit, and if you’re not big on Google services and apps, Android Wear for iOS is pointless. The experience matters, and Android Wear can’t deliver as well as Apple Watch can.
Google’s stance on Wear for iOS only working with the latest watches should also trouble you. Does a “good experience” come with updates, or will you need to upgrade your watch to see anything but diminishing returns with Android Wear for iOS?
I see too many red flags. The concept is really neat, but there’s a serious lack of execution I don’t trust will improve over time.
Read next: Samsung introduces the Gear S2 smartwatch