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

  • Make sure Apple Watch, Android, and iPhone are unlocked. Have a SIM card removal tool handy.
  • 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.

This article explains how to use an Apple Watch and an Android phone together.

What Do I Need?

To connect your Apple Watch with an Android smartphone, you need:

  • An unlocked Apple Watch with LTE
  • An unlocked Android smartphone
  • An unlocked iPhone 6 or later
  • A SIM card removal tool
  • To be on a cellular network that supports the Apple Watch

If you're unsure whether your devices are unlocked, contact Apple or your carrier for more information.

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.

What Functionality Can I Expect?

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 unexpectedly.

You can make phone calls, but messaging can be 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 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.

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 typically pair with any other Bluetooth device, they will refuse to connect.

How Does This Work?

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 your Apple Watch with a passcode or Activation Lock. Open the iPhone Watch app and select Apple Watch > Passcode, then turn on Unlock with iPhone. Or on the Apple Watch, open Apple Watch Settings > Passcode > Unlock with iPhone.

  • 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—especially with watchOS 9. But be aware that not all Apple Watch features will be available without a connection to 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.

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