Google Makes Android Wear Cross Platform - Desperation Or Genius?
Going forward all new Android Wear watches will function with iPhones running iOS 8.2 or later, starting with the just released LG Watch Urbane. It's a move of dubious merit and one which will serve only a tiny portion of the wearables market.
That is, iPhone buyers who must have a smartwatch and don't want the Apple Watch with all its hooks into the system and ability to run apps, respond to notifications and do all those things that Apple likes to put into adverts but no-one sane does in real life.
The functionality of an Android Wear device with the iPhone will be limited. Google Now will work, as will notifications. That's about it though.
So how big do we think this potential market might be for Google's OEM partners? Outside of the devices that will be given away or bought for review I'd imagine there could be 10 or 11 people that are jumping up and down with excitement at this moment.
It's like playing a game of diminishing returns. Take all the people who own an iPhone and want a smartwatch. Cross them off because they undoubtedly have already bought an Apple Watch. Now take the remainder, who don't want a smartwatch at the moment and hope that a less functional device will win them over by being cheaper. Now cross off the ones who'll be happy with the functionality of a fitness band. And those who wouldn't even consider a smartwatch.
After that there's not many buyers left.
If anything this move suggests that Android Wear has been a complete flop (backing up last week's wearable sales numbers) and Google and its OEMs are casting around for some way of boosting numbers.
But if the legions of Android phone users out there haven't been tempted, what path of logic suggests that iPhone users will be any more so?
Personally I've found no merit in any smartwatch, Apple, Android or otherwise. As a technology junkie that suggests that smartwatches are going to be a difficult sell for some time to come. However many platforms you make them compatible with.