How to Use Apple Watch With an Android Smartphone

It can be done but it's not for the faint of heart

What to Know

  • You need an unlocked iPhone 6 or later to connect your Apple Watch to an Android device.
  • Turn off all devices. Remove the SIM card from the iPhone and insert it into the Android. Turn on the Android, and then the Apple Watch.
  • You also need an unlocked Apple Watch with LTE, an unlocked Android, and a SIM card removal tool.

Can an Apple Watch and an Android phone work together? If you're brave and don't mind fiddling with some hardware, yes, there is a way to cross the streams and use the two devices together.

How to Connect an Apple Watch and Android Phone

First, set up your Apple Watch and configure it with your selected iPhone device. You'll need to start with an iPhone to set up the Apple Watch and connect it to your carrier's LTE network.

Once your Apple Watch is ready, proceed with the steps below.

  1. Turn off your iPhone, Android phone, and Apple Watch.

  2. Use the SIM card tool (or something suitable like a paperclip) to remove your SIM card from your iPhone.

  3. Place your iPhone SIM card into your Android phone and then turn it on.

  4. Once your Android phone has powered on and is connected to your cell carrier's network, power on the Apple Watch.

    You should now see your Android device is connected to your carrier as usual and that your Apple Watch is also connected.

  5. Now you can begin receiving calls and more on your Apple Watch, despite having an Android phone as your primary device.

Can I Pair an Apple Watch With an Android Phone?

The short answer is no. You cannot pair an Android device with an Apple Watch and have the two work together over Bluetooth. If you attempt to pair the two devices as one would normally pair any other Bluetooth device, they will refuse to connect.

However, if you're willing to play around with your gadgets, you can have the two devices working in semi-tandem.

Depending on the model of the Apple Watch, it might have an additional way to communicate beyond Bluetooth: LTE connectivity. Apple offers higher-priced versions of its smartwatch that can stay connected, receive phone calls, and get messages, even when a standard Bluetooth connection with an iPhone is lost.

These LTE Apple Watches utilize your carrier’s network to ensure they don’t disconnect if you go for a run or visit the store and leave your iPhone behind.

This same feature allows us to take advantage of a loophole to achieve partial functionality, even if you have an Android device.

What Functionality Can I Expect With an Android Phone?

Your Apple Watch and its installed apps will be able to keep themselves updated over a cellular connection; select apps that require your iPhone may function in unexpected ways.

Additionally, while you can send and receive phone calls, messaging can be a bit more cumbersome. iMessage, for example, tends to work with this setup, but standard text messages (SMS) fail; a significant problem since your Android device will typically want to send all messages as standard SMS texts.

Since you won’t have access to an iPhone, you also won’t be able to keep your device and software suitably up to date. If you want to install a new app on your watch, you’ll also be out of luck because you need an iPhone to complete this function.

What Do I Need to Get Started With This Project?

The procedure of having your Apple Watch work with an Android smartphone will require the following:

  • An unlocked Apple Watch with LTE
  • An unlocked Android smartphone
  • An unlocked iPhone 6 or later
  • A SIM card removal tool.

If you're unsure whether the Apple devices you're using are unlocked or not, you can contact Apple or your carrier for more information. If you're unsure about your Android device, we still recommend contacting your carrier.

You also need to be on a cellular network that supports usage of the Apple Watch. In the United States, this includes AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon.

What Exactly Is Happening With My iPhone and Android Phone?

Your two devices aren’t actually communicating with one another; from a technical perspective, they're still wholly incompatible. However, setting up your Watch with LTE means it no longer needs to use an iPhone to complete some of its primary functions.

Be prepared to see a loss in functionality, and the constant use of LTE will drain your Apple Watch battery faster than usual. While it's a fun experiment overall, if you love Android, you're better off picking up a dedicated smartwatch that's compatible with your phone.

  • How do you unlock an Apple Watch?

    You can unlock an Apple Watch with a passcode or Activation Lock. However, an "unlocked" Apple Watch means it isn't tied to a carrier.

  • Will an Apple Watch work by itself, without any phone?

    Yes, it will. There are actually quite a few things you can do with an Apple Watch without a paired iPhone. For example, you can pair your Watch with Bluetooth headphones to stream music from Spotify, or download and listen to podcasts on your Watch without an iPhone.

  • What Android watch is comparable to Apple Watch?

    The best Apple Watch alternative for Android users is probably the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. While it lacks the robust app ecosystem of the Apple Watch, it has a great rotating bezel, a classic design, and about two days of battery life with the always-on display active.

Was this page helpful?