Google might be building support for the iPhone into its Android Wear smartwatch software, The Verge’s Dieter Bohn reports.
If these Google-powered smartwatches became compatible with the iPhone, it would make them more competitive with the Apple Watch.
Currently, smartwatches that run on Android Wear only work with Android-powered phones, not the iPhone.
The Apple Watch is the reverse: It only works with recent model iPhones.
Bohn posted a photo that shows that shows the LG Watch R, which runs on Android Wear, receiving a Face Time notification.
He writes that the iOS version of Android Wear would work through a companion app just like it does on Android phones. This app would allow you to control notifications and Google Now search cards.
You should also be able to use voice controls, such as being able to reply to Gmail messages by dictating text, just like you can when you use Android Wear watches with Android phones.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Google is planning to make it Android Wear platform compatible with the iPhone. French outlet 01net reported in early March that Google was working on an iOS version of the Android Wear app.
But the big question, as Bohn notes, is whether or not Apple will approve such an app for its App Store since it would put Google in a better position to compete with the Apple Watch.
Apple has seemed pretty confident about how the Apple Watch stands up to other smartwatches on the market. When speaking at the Goldman Sach’s Technology and Internet Conference in February, here’s what Apple CEO Tim Cook had to say in reference to the overall smartwatch space:
If you think about the, for those of you can remember, the MP3 industry, before the iPod — we weren’t the first company to make an MP3; there were lots of companies in the… you may not be able to remember that, but there were lots of them out there. They weren’t used very much. They were fundamentally too hard to use, and the user interface was really bad. You almost needed a PhD to use these. They weren’t, they’re not memorable. They didn’t really move the dial.
And the tablet business was kind of like this, too. There were lots of tablets shipping when the iPad came out. But there was nothing earth-shattering. There were very niche-y kind of applications; you probably weren’t using one like you’re using now.
And so I see the smart watch category very much like that. There are several things that are called “smart watches” that are shipping, but I’m not sure you could name any. Maybe you could. I’m not sure the audience could name very many. But certainly there’s been none that have changed the way people live their lives.
Google launched Android Wear about one year ago, and since then companies such as LG, Motorola, Asus, and Samsung have released watches that run on the software.
The Apple Watch launches on April 24 and preorders start on Friday.
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