How To Pair an Apple Watch with an Android Phone
This is one of those times where you have to wonder why you would want to pair an Apple Watch with an Android phone even though you can. If you spent all that money on an Apple Watch instead of one of the many other smart watches out there, it is likely because you already have other Apple products. It is possible to pair an Apple Watch with an Android phone but it isn’t pretty.
The official word from Apple is that you can only use an Apple Watch with specific models of iPhone. In the real world, you can pair an Apple Watch with an Android phone but you won’t get the full functionality. It will only use the LTE connection and your watch battery life will be worse than it already is.
If you still want to try it, this tutorial will show you how. There is a caveat though. You need the LTE version of the Apple Watch and it works best with network-unlocked phones.
Pairing an Apple Watch with an Android phone
Essentially what we do in this scenario is pair the Apple Watch with your iPhone, set everything up so it’s working, turn the iPhone into airplane mode, remove the SIM, put the SIM into an Android phone and then find a strong LTE signal. While certainly not guaranteed to work, we go ours working in the office, after a fashion.
You require unlocked phones because you’re swapping SIM cards around. Unless you have two SIM cards for the same carrier, this will only work on unlocked phones.
Here’s what we did:
- Set your Apple Watch up with the iPhone.
- Make a test call or two to ensure everything is fine.
- Put the iPhone into airplane mode so it cannot reach out. Or turn it off.
- Turn off the Apple Watch.
- Swap the SIM from the iPhone to your Android phone and boot it.
- Turn on the Apple Watch.
- Wait for the Disconnected notification to disappear from the Apple Watch.
I tried this in the office with a new Apple Watch, an iPhone and my Samsung Galaxy S7. The Apple Watch initially took quite a while to connect and the signal was a little fuzzy. However, a quick walk outside to a stronger signal had the watch connecting faster and had a much better call quality.
I could ask Siri to call contacts on my phone as long as I used the name saved on the SIM, not on the phone. Call quality was good with a strong signal. I couldn’t get Siri to do much else aside from send a message and check the weather. Neither could I get Siri to send a message.
Limitations in pairing an Apple Watch with an Android phone
Once connected, you should be able to make and receive calls and use Siri to perform some basic functions. The two devices are not directly communicating as far as I can tell. They are instead using the network to communicate which is why only the very basic functions are possible with this method.
You will not be able to use any of the more advanced functions of the Apple Watch. You will obviously have no access to the Smart Watch app on your Android phone and will only really be able to make and receive calls and ask Siri some basic questions. Voice commands can be used to make calls as long as you use the name the contacts are saved as on your SIM and not your Android phone.
The other limitation will be on battery life. The Apple Watch doesn’t have an amazing battery to begin with but by using LTE constantly, that battery isn’t going to last very long at all.
I am guessing that aside from trying it because you can, the only time you would ever want to use this hack is if something happened to your iPhone and you really wanted to continue using your Apple Watch. Otherwise, it is largely pointless. You cannot use most of the smart functions on the watch and Android has a lot of smart watches that work within its own ecosystem. Many are smarter and much cheaper than the Apple Watch.
However, we have proved that you can pair an Apple Watch with an Android phone and get it working after a fashion. Do you see any use for this? Want to try it? Tried it and got it working? Tell us about your experiences below!