One of the highlights of Google IO 2022 was the long-awaited unveiling of the Google Pixel Watch. Or at least an extended tease. Google hasn’t revealed everything about the wearable, but much of what it has said is worth getting excited about, and the built-in Fitbit tech is a highlight. But something less positive was also revealed: it is not compatible with iPhones.
That means if you have an iPhone, you won’t be able to connect a Pixel Watch to it, essentially rendering the wearable useless to you.
If you’re entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, you’re probably not surprised, as the Apple Watch has never been compatible with Android phones. But most Wear OS watches run on iPhones, so this feels like a step backwards and a potential disappointment to many would-be buyers.
Worse yet, the Pixel Watch isn’t the only one eschewing the iPhone: the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic do too.
That’s notable because currently, those are the only wearable devices running Wear OS 3 (the latest version of the operating system). At the time of the launch of the Galaxy Watch 4 series, it was expected to be a decision by Samsung, but now that the Pixel Watch is also not compatible with iPhone, it seems that it could be a software limitation.
In other words, it’s possible that no Wear OS 3 watch will be compatible with the iPhone, though it’s important to note that this hasn’t been confirmed. Even if other Wear OS 3 watches launch with iPhone support, arguably the two biggest names in Wear OS are still left without it.
Analysis: Google is becoming more Apple
As noted above, Apple has a history of locking users into its ecosystem and, more relevantly in this case, not allowing you to use the Apple Watch with any phone that doesn’t run iOS. But Google is different, or used to be anyway.
One of the big selling points of Android (and Wear OS) is the open nature of the software. You are not limited to a specific brand or even a specific app store. It’s your device so you can do what you want with it and connect what you want.
While this move doesn’t lock you in as much as Apple has with the Apple Watch (after all, there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of different Android phones you’ll be able to pair it with), it’s definitely a step in that direction, and one that is disappointing to watch.
Wear OS already feels like an underdog in the smartwatch space (not helped by Google’s neglect of the platform), and while it finally looks like Google is paying attention to it, blocking millions of potential users doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. smart game. .