How To Pair A Smartwatch With An iPhone

One reason Apple has thrived so well in the world of technology is because of the ecosystem it has successfully built around its products. Everything syncs with everything. Nonetheless, there will always be times when one has to sync a device other than an Apple wearable. This is why you ought to know how to pair a smartwatch with an iPhone.

Initially, iPhone compatibility with smartwatches other than the Apple watch wasn’t a thing. However, as at late 2015, Googled rolled out iPhone-compatibility in its Android Wear software. This automatically gave smartwatches more functionality being able to pair with an iPhone.

There are multiple benefits that come from pairing your smartwatch with your iPhone including time telling accuracy as well as the ease of going about day-to-day activities without necessarily taking out your phone.

If you’re here to find out how to pair a smartwatch with an iPhone, we’ve got the steps. Pairing a smartwatch with an iPhone is quite easy, thankfully.

How To Pair A Smartwatch With An iPhone

Pairing a smartwatch with an iPhone is pretty easy. If your smartwatch is Wear OS, there is an Android Wear app on your iOS app store. You want to download this app on your phone. This will help you in pairing your smartwatch with your iPhone. Here are the steps:

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Steps To Pairing A Smartphone With An iPhone

1. On your Wear OS Google app now downloaded on your phone, you should see a list of devices nearby. Look for your device’s name on the list.

2. Before pairing, you want to be sure that your watch is charging as an insufficient battery charge will affect pairing.

3. Select your preferred language and then scroll to watch identity.

4. On your phone, tap on your watch’s name. If your phone is already paired with a new watch, your watch won’t be able to generate the pairing code necessary for the pairing. In that case, therefore, tap on Pair With A New Wearable instead and keep following the steps.

5. Your watch should now be displaying a pairing code.

6. Your iPhone should be showing the same code as seen on your watch. Tap on “Pair” and wait for the confirmation message saying that your watch has paired. This might take a few minutes so be patient.

7. Follow the instructions as you see them on your phone to turn on location, watch notifications, as well as calendar access.

8. If you just factory reset your watch and now want to pair it with your iPhone, you want to open the Wear OS app on your phone. Tap on the Menu icon and then select Pair With New Watch. Continue with the steps as listed above.

9. After following these steps, your watch might install an update automatically and then restart. Keep your iPhone close to your watch if it begins an update and ensure your watch is charging while the update is ongoing.

If you wish to interact with your watch on a screen larger than that of your watch, pairing your smartwatch with your phone is important. It helps with easier navigation primarily, however, it works a little differently than an Apple Watch would work with your iPhone in one major way.

For other smartwatches other than the Apple Watch, the Android Wear app must be left running at all times if data is to keep flowing to your smartwatch. If you’re fond of closing your apps, then remember that your Wear OS app must always run in the background, else your smartwatch won’t work as expected.

The same goes for Samsung Gear as well (the S3 and S2 watches).

Here is a video demonstration of the steps we enumerated above for pairing a smartphone with an iPhone

What You Can Do When You Pair A Smartwatch With An iPhone

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Impeccable Time Keeping

When your smartwatch is connected to an iPhone, it keeps time impeccably which is important since it is a watch.

Wrist-Based Notifications

Being able to get your notifications simply by the turn of your hand is definitely a huge pro when it comes to pairing a smartwatch with an iPhone. Just like on the Apple Watch, all your alerts from your communication and apps get forwarded to your watch. So, you can easily check through them without necessarily pulling out your phone every time which is pretty sweet.

Besides that, your notifications arrange themselves in the form of cards allowing you to swipe from the bottom of the screen upwards to access them. Simply by swiping up and down, you can easily check through all your alerts, each with its separate screen. Or you can also make use of the rotating dial if your smartwatch has one.

Wrist-Based Access To Google Assistant

If you’re an iPhone user that makes use of a lot of Google apps, you will enjoy pairing your smartwatch with your iPhone. You will be able to say “OK Google” to your watch, conduct a search and ask a command. If you make a web search and pull a listing, you can tap on the phone icon to read the full page in your browser via the Android Wear app on your iPhone.

For your Gmail notifications, you can read, archive and reply them on your smartwatch. For replying, users have the option of speaking their reply via Google Assistant or typing on the screen which is incredibly awkward considering size.

You’ll also be able to access your apps on your watch simply by swiping the screen. Most of the apps are centered around timing, though, like the stopwatch, alarm clock, timer, and world clock. Thought you should know. But besides time-centric apps, there are also compass, agenda, as well as the Translate feature so you can have international conversations via your wrist. 

The Google Fit is also available on your Wear OS. (Click here to learn how to sync your Fitbit with our article: How do You Sync Your Fitbit?)

The Google Play Store is accessible on your smartwatch as well although it’s not the easiest to use directly from your smartphone. To use your Play Store, you’d need to connect your watch to WiFi as you can’t use your iPhone’s connection to access Google Playstore.

Once you access your Play Store though, you’ll be able to get apps such a Robinhood, Uber, Google Maps, Citymapper, Google Play Music, Pandora, Strava, and Runkeeper.

What You Miss When You Pair A Smartwatch (Non-Apple Wearable) With Your iPhone

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Limited Communication Functionalities

Naturally, in choosing to pair an Android Wear smartwatch with your iPhone rather than an Apple Watch, you’d miss out on a number of important features. Most importantly, the watch can’t communicate with your iPhone’s communication functionalities. So, you can’t speak to write or respond to a message by voice.

For call functions, most Android Wear devices lack speakers to enable two-way communication even though they have a mic to enable you speak commands. So, all you can do on your watch when it comes to calls is reject them.

Nevertheless, even with Android Wear devices with speakers, it’s still impossible to take calls on your wrist.

The only exception to this is if you buy an Android Wear with its own LTE connection. Examples are the Verizon Wear24 or the LG Watch Sport. With these watches, you can set your it up such that calls that come into your iPhone are forwarded to your watch. But with this arrangement, you won’t be able to take calls on your phone until you put off call forwarding. So, it’s an all or nothing arrangement.

No Android Pay

Right now, with your smartwatch paired to your iPhone, you won’t be able to access Android Pay even if it has the required NFC chip. But with Google’s plan to make their Android Wear smartwatches download Wear apps directly without the need for input from your iPhone, don’t be surprised to find Android Pay support pretty soon.

No Play Store And Associated Apps

For Android Wear without the Android Wear 2.0 support, users will find that they won’t find Play Store and apps on their watch. It might not be a huge deal since you’ll still be able to get your notifications and use Google voice commands. But since they won’t be updated, you won’t be able to access more modern apps.

Connectivity Issues

Certain android smartwatches will begin to have some issues with connectivity after a while. This could also cause Google Assistant to fail sometimes. You might ultimately have to resort to a factory reset for your watch to regain a good level of connectivity again.

What is Android Wear?

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What does this have to do with anything? Well, practically all smartphones besides the Apple Watch work with Android Wear which is Google’s smartwatch platform. Google simply creates the core software and then different companies make their hardware based off of the software.

Right now, there over 30 Android Wear smartphones from different brands including Huawei, LG, Sony, and Samsung. However, since they run on the same core software, they act practically the same way when running the latest version.

Most Android Wear smartwatches depend on your phone for connectivity although there are some apps that run natively on your smartwatch. For instance, you can listen to music through your Bluetooth headphones without necessarily using your phone.

Some Android Wear smartwatches also offer 4G LTE so you can make calls without the need for your phone.

Android Wear Smartwatch Options Available

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There all kinds of smartwatches that operate with Android Wear available in all shapes, sizes, and colors. From sport watches to fashion watches, from luxury to budget watches, there is a smartwatch in the market for everybody. 

However, of course, consistency of features cannot be assured across different price ranges. The most sophisticated ones though will come with a heart rate monitor, NFC for Android Pay, as well as 4G LTE.

The best watches you can get right now are those that run the latest Android Wear 2.0 which is a better option for iPhone users.

Affordable options include the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20, the Balance RunIQ, Fossil Q series, and some budget-range Michael Kors smartwatches.

If you prefer to make a statement with more sophisticated pieces, you can try the Montblanc Summit, as well as watches from designer brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, and Hugo Boss.