Samsung Galaxy Watch4 won’t work on an iPhone – plus even more bad news
Must Read: Detailed Samsung Galaxy Watch Review
Whilst an Apple Watch only works on an iPhone, Google had previously ported Wear OS over to iOS so that many Wear OS devices will work on pretty much any modern smartphone…including Apple iPhones. Also, with some nuances, Galaxy Watches had always been compatible with iPhones.
Yesterday changed all that.
The arrival of the Galaxy Watch 4 slipped in some unwelcomed news for a relatively small number of iPhone users namely, “Galaxy Watch4 is NOT compatible with iPhones” and, indeed only works on Android 6.0 and above.
What does this mean?
Apart from the obvious, this might mean that, in parallel, Wear OS 3 will not be supported on iOS but we don’t know that for sure.
Think about it first of all from Samsung’s perspective. As one of the world’s biggest smartphone companies, why would you want to encourage people to use an iPhone. “Let the iPhone users stick with their rectangular Apple Watches,” might be the sentiment coming from Korea.
Against that there would be the argument that more Galaxy Watch4 sales could be made by offering an alternative to the Apple Watch and that Google will likely be responsible for the cost of making Wear OS work on iOS.
My opinion is that it seems that Apple wants to maintain the barriers to their ring monopoly wherever possible, whereas Google seems to want to spread its own tentacles as far as possible. Thus I would imagine that Google WILL keep support for Wear OS on iOS BUT that Samsung will not support the move.
Indeed if you look at Bills being considered by lawmakers in the USA right now you will see that there appears to be cross-party sentiment to force Apple to open up its ecosystem. I would imagine that Google will want to keep its current foothold and expand it when possible.
It gets worse
From Samsung’s site, it looks like two of the Watch4’s headline features SpO2 and Blood Pressure estimation will only work on a Galaxy smartphone with Android 7 and above.
I suspect other features that require a phone, like snoring monitoring, will also only work on Samsung phones. Let’s wait and see on that one.