So, as far as I can see the options available with Android Wear are:
Andorra Wear device paired with Android phone - very rich, lots of apps and loads of functionality.
Android Wear device paired with iOS device - only notifications, very few apps and very limited functionality.
After spending over two hundred pounds on the Moto 360 (second get) and having another 18 months contract with my iPhone this was not a happy experience to be in. I was even tempted to sell the Moto 360 and buy an Apple Watch.
Thankfully I have found a third way ....
Android Wear watch paired with (very cheap £25) Android Tablet to unlock the richer experience and add apps to the watch.
Android Wear watch also connected to iOS device to receive notifications.
Step by step method
1. Buy a very cheap Android tablet such as this one. It must run Android 4.3 or above and have bluetooth
2. Install the Android Wear app on the tablet. I found that it initially said that it wasn’t compatible with my device so after a quick google search I found a slightly older version, downloaded it and installed it.
3. Perform a factory reset on the Android Wear device and set up as a new pairing with the tablet.
4. Download an app called Aerlink from the Google Play Store. Install and setup on the Android Wear device.
5. Download the accompanying Aerlink iOS app (approx £1.50) from here
6. Run both apps on both devices and after a little bit of Bluetooth pairing you will soon receive notifications on your Android Wear device from your iOS phone.
7. Setup WIFI on your Android Wear device (which you can’t do when using the iOS Android Wear app)
8. Download loads of other apps to the watch
9. Switch off the Android tablet and only use again when you need to add extra apps etc.
Enjoy the benefit of Android Wear apps on your device whilst still getting all the notifications from iOS.
The first limitation is probably one of the most frustrating, it is not possible to download and add any more Android Wear apps to the watch. Apple will not allow a second App Store so adding more content to the watch is impossible.
Putting that to one side I can honestly say that the last two weeks with the watch have not been too disappointing. I set up push notifications for all my key apps so was quickly getting all my notifications on my wrist. I could live with the inability to interact with the notifications other than dismissing them.
Before I explain my fairly big disappointment it is important to know how the watch pairs with a new iOS or Android device. To add a new phone or tablet you have to perform a factory reset of the watch. It is not possible to have more than one device synced at a time. Performing a factory reset erases everything from the watch including all the analytic data saved by the Moto Body app.
Last night apple pushed out an iOS update which I dutifully did this morning. Post update I found I was unable to connect my watch to the phone. It took me a few minutes of thinking before I realised that the reason it wouldn't connect was because the watch thought it was a new device.
I then had to go through the setup to pair a new device and before long I had my notifications streaming in to me. Later in the morning I went to see how my steps were going towards my new and challenging target set by Moto Body. It was at this moment I noticed that all my analytics had been lost. Of course they had been lost, I had performed a factory reset of the watch.
Very disappointed by this ...
My hopes for further updates
- Apple come to some agreement with Google to allow access to Android Wear apps to be installed on the watch.
- Future updates of the Android Wear app allow local saving of Moto Body data