Let’s be honest, we were all expecting news like this at a time like this: the Apple Watch pre-sale is looming and Google announces that they are closing in on making Android wearables compatible with iOS devices. Some people won’t be swayed –they want an Apple Watch and nothing else will do. Others have an open mind (or a budget that doesn’t afford the high price tag for Apple’s new signature wearable). For those in that second group, news that there should be other wearable options that compliment their iPhone will be heard in a very positive light.
According to Google, the current state of development requires iPhone users to run a companion app on their smartphone in order to gain basic functionality (like notifications and Google Now’s ambient information cards, voice search, and other voice actions). Many expect that deeper integration with Google-branded apps is likely (such as replying to Gmail messages).
In some ways, this news isn’t actually that new. Pebble has a watch that offers iOS compatibility (and gives additional functions above what Google seems to have working, including the ability to control music from your wrist).
My curiosity is piqued, but I currently have more questions than answers.
If Google is successful, will [can] Apple allow it [thinking primarily about the requisite Google companion app, which will need entry into the App Store]?
Can Google maintain iOS compatibility as the operating system is updated and changed?
How much functionality counts as enough for iOS users to be persuaded and interested in an Android-powered wearable?
Is the inevitable hassle worth the lower price-tag?
Jillian Koskie is an experienced software developer, content writer, project manager and usability design expert. With over 17 years in these roles, Jillian has enjoyed applying her skill-set to assist clients and users across a wide variety of sectors including: legal, health, and financial services. Combining these professional opportunities with a love of technology, Jillian is pleased to contribute articles, opinions, and advice to numerous news outlets, websites, and publications.