Can you use an Apple Watch with an Android phone? The straightforward answer is no. It is not possible to pair an Apple Watch with Android, irrespective of whether your phone is from Samsung, OnePlus, or Google, or what Android version it is running.
However, you can set up your Apple Watch using an iPhone and then use it for fitness tracking and other basic purposes while still using an Android phone as your daily driver. Here’s how you can do this.
Set Up a Cellular Apple Watch With iPhone
Since the Apple Watch is not compatible with Android, you need to use it as a standalone smartwatch.
For this, you need to ensure that you buy the cellular variant of the wearable; otherwise, you’ll be significantly limited in what the watch can do. Then, you need to set up your new Apple Watch using an iPhone. You cannot connect an Apple Watch to an Android phone, and it is not possible to set up the wearable using an Android phone or even an iPad.
You must also use your own iPhone since the Apple Watch will use the Apple ID associated with the device—any old iPhone will work as long as Apple still supports it. This means you cannot use your friend’s iPhone to set up the watch.
While setting up the cellular connection on your watch, ensure that your Android phone is turned off. For best results, insert your primary SIM in the iPhone during this process. This process can be cumbersome if you have switched over to eSIM.
Once you have paired and set up the Apple Watch, proceed to install all your important and favorite apps on it. You must do this from the paired iPhone
The good thing is that you can install new apps from the App Store on the Apple Watch directly over a cellular connection—you don’t need your iPhone for it. You will also receive notifications from many apps that can work independently of an iPhone, including iMessage.
However, many watchOS apps are not standalone, meaning they require the watch to be connected to the iPhone to work. This is also why you should not use a GPS-only Apple Watch, as you won’t be able to use most of the apps installed on the watch or receive any notifications from them.
If you are planning to get the Apple Watch for fitness tracking or for recording your hiking or diving sessions, the rugged Apple Watch Ultra will fare better as its outdoor features are not reliant on the iPhone.
A cellular connection will also help the smartwatch in acquiring faster GPS locks, which would be useful when tracking outdoor activities. Do note that depending on your mobile operator, you might have to pay extra for cellular connection on the watch.
Use Your Apple Watch and Android Device Simultaneously
Now, you can wear your Apple Watch and use it alongside your Android phone. The two devices won’t communicate with each other, so you won’t receive notifications from your Android phone on your Apple Watch.
However, standalone apps on the smartwatch that only need an internet/LTE connection would work just fine. You can use this setup to track your daily steps, workout routines, and stream music to your earbuds via the watch.
Every once in a while, though, you’ll have to connect your Apple Watch to your iPhone for data syncing. This will also be needed when installing the latest watchOS update on the wearable.
Apple Watch and Android Compatibility
Since the Apple Watch does not work with Android officially, your only option is to follow the solution above. While not ideal, you can at least enjoy the Apple Watch’s health-tracking features this way. Given how Apple closely guards its walled ecosystem, this is unlikely to change in the future.
There are plenty of other smartwatches that you can try as an Android user, though admittedly, they all fall short in some areas when compared to the Apple Watch.