Apple watch on Android? Maybe.

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
Just gathering thoughts for how this might work, watch OS 4 has some extra options which might make it possible in a convoluted way. This is truly NOT an AW on android, but it should work as a companion to an android device in many ways.

So my thoughts are to get a cheapie 5s ($79) and just leave it at home, connected via wifi. This would connect to the AW and from what I understand in watch OS4 the AW will now connect to wifi networks on its own, even if not in proximity of the iPhone. Yes that means it only works on wifi, although I would assume that means hotspot as well, so the AW should connect to the android phone via hotspot so it can get information from the iPhone at home and stay connected.

Email: Simple, just setup the cheapie iPhone with my email account. I should get alerts on my AW via wifi, as well as on my Android phone.

Text: Most of my texting and calls are done through Google voice, so I just have to set it up with both the crappy iPhone and android phone, should come through wifi.

Calls: I don't think this will work, although it's possible that incoming GV calls might show an alert via wifi, not sure.

imessage: The only solution I could think of is if I had people message my email, then the iPhone should get it and transfer it back to the AW. I can text from the AW and I'm assuming it would come from email, not sure.

Motifit/fitness/heartrate: Seems to work standalone with the AW, can sync it when I get home.

Apple pay: Works right from the AW without the iPhone having to be in proximity after initial setup.

Calendar: Just setup on iPhone, reminders should work.

Siri: I believe some limited functionality is present on the AW by itself.

What do you guys think? I'm just kind of brainstorming here. I really can't stand any android watch and don't think I can deal being without my AW.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GrumpyMom

Fernandez21

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2010
4,566
2,780
Just gathering thoughts for how this might work, watch OS 4 has some extra options which might make it possible in a convoluted way. This is truly NOT an AW on android, but it should work as a companion to an android device in many ways.

So my thoughts are to get a cheapie 5s ($79) and just leave it at home, connected via wifi. This would connect to the AW and from what I understand in watch OS4 the AW will now connect to wifi networks on its own, even if not in proximity of the iPhone. Yes that means it only works on wifi, although I would assume that means hotspot as well, so the AW should connect to the android phone via hotspot so it can get information from the iPhone at home and stay connected.

Email: Simple, just setup the cheapie iPhone with my email account. I should get alerts on my AW via wifi, as well as on my Android phone.

Text: Most of my texting and calls are done through Google voice, so I just have to set it up with both the crappy iPhone and android phone, should come through wifi.

Calls: I don't think this will work, although it's possible that incoming GV calls might show an alert via wifi, not sure.

imessage: The only solution I could think of is if I had people message my email, then the iPhone should get it and transfer it back to the AW. I can text from the AW and I'm assuming it would come from email, not sure.

Motifit/fitness/heartrate: Seems to work standalone with the AW, can sync it when I get home.

Apple pay: Works right from the AW without the iPhone having to be in proximity after initial setup.

Calendar: Just setup on iPhone, reminders should work.

Siri: I believe some limited functionality is present on the AW by itself.

What do you guys think? I'm just kind of brainstorming here. I really can't stand any android watch and don't think I can deal being without my AW.
The LTE model may work for calls. I know at&t does number sync, so you could that to get the Apple watch number to sync up with your Android number, unless that's being handled by apple and not your carrier.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,605
As far as iMessage is concerned, yes you can link it to your email instead, and your Apple Watch S3 will get the iMessages via iCloud. Doesn't matter if your iPhone is on or completely turned off.

You'll also be able to get emails, on cell and wifi data without the iPhone.

You will only need the iPhone for initial setup or updates(presumably).
 

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
Nice, I'll keep the iPhone in a drawer at home. I just tested some stuff out and email works perfectly without the iPhone on watch OS3.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GrumpyMom

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
Ok I am now VERY interested to see how this goes... I mean I can keep my 6S kicking about to do all this.. whilst possibly rocking a Note 8..
Apple Watch Series 3 is the most interesting thing Apple revealed yesterday. That battery life is complete crap though. My S3 Frontier gets charged twice a week and has GPS, LTE and a barometric sensor.

I have no idea why Apple cant get this right. The none LTE version should last days, not hours.
 

M5RahuL

macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2009
2,689
979
Colorado
Apple Watch Series 3 is the most interesting thing Apple revealed yesterday. That battery life is complete crap though. My S3 Frontier gets charged twice a week and has GPS, LTE and a barometric sensor.

I have no idea why Apple cant get this right. The none LTE version should last days, not hours.
If I use my S3 in standalone mode, I have to charge it everyday ( 100 % charge at 7 am ; ~ 45% left around 11 pm ) But, if I use it tethered to my Note, yeah.. I get 2-3 days outta it. I do use my S3 quite a lot though.
[doublepost=1505336306][/doublepost]
Ok I am now VERY interested to see how this goes... I mean I can keep my 6S kicking about to do all this.. whilst possibly rocking a Note 8..
I'm curious too.. subbed to the thread!
 
  • Like
Reactions: apolloa

bgro

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2010
1,090
621
South Florida
How is the S3 in general? And compared to the AW?

I am hoping to make the switch to the Note 8 (waiting for it to come) and the only thing I'm not sure about is losing my AW. I use it mainly for fitness purposes. Tracking heart rate while exercising, distance while jogging, etc etc. Don't really care about any other features, the only thing I use my AW for is fitness and notifications. Notifications I'm sure the S3 does well. Any comments would be appreciated..
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,111
7,507
UK
Apple Watch Series 3 is the most interesting thing Apple revealed yesterday. That battery life is complete crap though. My S3 Frontier gets charged twice a week and has GPS, LTE and a barometric sensor.

I have no idea why Apple cant get this right. The none LTE version should last days, not hours.
It was the most interesting thing until I saw that it's only available at one carrier in my country and it's not the carrier I use.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oohara

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
So from what I've seen, it's best to set up a wifi hotspot on a Note 8 etc and then use an iPhone to connect to that to get your Apple Watch to work?
So from what I've seen, it's best to set up a wifi hotspot on a Note 8 etc and then use an iPhone to connect to that to get your Apple Watch to work?
Don't know yet, but will know more when my N8 gets here tomorrow, well maybe Tuesday because it may require watch OS 4 from what I've read so far. But the AW does need wifi connectivity to connect to a remote iPhone. I wish touchwiz had the Oreo feature where mobile hotspot gets turned on automatically with a trusted device.
[doublepost=1505705633][/doublepost]
How is the S3 in general? And compared to the AW?

I am hoping to make the switch to the Note 8 (waiting for it to come) and the only thing I'm not sure about is losing my AW. I use it mainly for fitness purposes. Tracking heart rate while exercising, distance while jogging, etc etc. Don't really care about any other features, the only thing I use my AW for is fitness and notifications. Notifications I'm sure the S3 does well. Any comments would be appreciated..
The s3 is HUGE compared to the AW, even the 42mm. It also runs Tizen, which has only a fraction of the apps iOS and android have. I'm also hesitant on the heart rate sensor as I've always found Samsung to have poor ones, but never tested the S3. I know my AW HR sensor is pretty darn excellent.
 
  • Like
Reactions: apolloa

bgro

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2010
1,090
621
South Florida
The s3 is HUGE compared to the AW, even the 42mm. It also runs Tizen, which has only a fraction of the apps iOS and android have. I'm also hesitant on the heart rate sensor as I've always found Samsung to have poor ones, but never tested the S3. I know my AW HR sensor is pretty darn excellent.
I tried on the S3 frontier (46mm) and the size actually works for me. The HRM is the biggest thing for me as I use my AW all the time for fitness. I recently did a stress test at my cardiologist and was comparing my AW readings to his readings and they were completely in sync (give or take a few bmps). I don't mind using the S3 IF the HRM was good. If not, I'm afraid my switch will be short lived because I'm not sure I can live withhout my AW at this point. THis sucks..
 

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
I tried on the S3 frontier (46mm) and the size actually works for me. The HRM is the biggest thing for me as I use my AW all the time for fitness. I recently did a stress test at my cardiologist and was comparing my AW readings to his readings and they were completely in sync (give or take a few bmps). I don't mind using the S3 IF the HRM was good. If not, I'm afraid my switch will be short lived because I'm not sure I can live withhout my AW at this point. THis sucks..
The AW is definitely top of the line when it comes to HR sensors, there are a few research articles and scientific comparisons between the AW and other brands and it comes out on top.

In other news, I hopefully will start my AW on Android journey tomorrow, as today I update my iPhone to iOS11 and my watches to watch OS4.
 
  • Like
Reactions: apolloa

Feenician

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,180
4,788
This would connect to the AW and from what I understand in watch OS4 the AW will now connect to wifi networks on its own, even if not in proximity of the iPhone
You might know this already and they are "obvious" but I don't see it explicitly mentioned.

The Watch will only connect to wifi networks that are a) In your keychain already and b) not behind a captive login page.

I'm not 100% sure that the watch will update the keychain when independent either. If you think it about it, if you're on a new wifi network that the watch doesn't yet know about the the details would have to be transmitted locally from the phone (otherwise the watch, which has no wifi connection, wouldn't be able to update the keychain). Could be wrong about that though, perhaps it updates both locally and independently.
 

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
You might know this already and they are "obvious" but I don't see it explicitly mentioned.

The Watch will only connect to wifi networks that are a) In your keychain already and b) not behind a captive login page.

I'm not 100% sure that the watch will update the keychain when independent either. If you think it about it, if you're on a new wifi network that the watch doesn't yet know about the the details would have to be transmitted locally from the phone (otherwise the watch, which has no wifi connection, wouldn't be able to update the keychain). Could be wrong about that though, perhaps it updates both locally and independently.
From what I understand if the iPhone has already connected to my android hotspot, and if that hotspot has no password, then the watch will connect to it. That's in theory and from reading others who got it to work that way, but I have no idea if in practice it will truly work. Of course I'm also leaving my hotspot vulnerable so I may not want to do that. Now with a regular wifi network my AW without an iPhone around seems to connect fine to wifi with a password (not a hotspot) on watch OS3.

With that said, I'm not sure if the watch sees the difference between a hotspot and a wifi router, so I have a feeling it will work fine with the hotspot. What Apple refers to as being an issue are public networks.
 

Feenician

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,180
4,788
From what I understand if the iPhone has already connected to my android hotspot, and if that hotspot has no password, then the watch will connect to it. That's in theory and from reading others who got it to work that way, but I have no idea if in practice it will truly work. Of course I'm also leaving my hotspot vulnerable so I may not want to do that. Now with a regular wifi network my AW without an iPhone around seems to connect fine to wifi with a password (not a hotspot) on watch OS3.

With that said, I'm not sure if the watch sees the difference between a hotspot and a wifi router, so I have a feeling it will work fine with the hotspot. What Apple refers to as being an issue are public networks.
Yep, that's right. When the phone learns about a new wifi network it tells the watch to update its copy of the keychain. You don't have to leave your hotspot vulnerable though. The watch will happily connect to WPA2 networks, provided it knows about them.

Sounds like you understand and are good to go. Just thought I'd check.
 
  • Like
Reactions: spinedoc77

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
So the watch should connect to the hotspot itself and get email notifications? Just not phone calls or use Apple Pay?
Pretty much, Apple pay works also. I think Apple pay works even with no wifi connection at all.

Updating to watch OS4 as we speak, sigh it says 3 hours!!
 

Fernandez21

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2010
4,566
2,780
I'm curious how the number sync feature will work, if it's something done with the carriers or apple software. I remember with my gear S2 I was able to sync it to my Galaxy phones, but use at&t number sync with my iPhone line and I was able to get all my calls and text from both phones to my watch.
 

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
OK some preliminary results, looking good so far. 7+ on iOS11, and 2 AW's both on Watch OS4. The AW's connect to my password protected hotspot on my Note 8 perfectly, no issues whatsoever. I left my iPhone at home connected to my home wifi network and went around the block with my Note 8 and AW to simulate going to work and leaving the iPhone at home.

Notifications came through perfectly. Email, google voice, etc all came through. I could control the apps I tried such as Ecobee, my vehicle app, etc. I could reply on google voice and email directly from the AW and it would send perfectly. The only missing link is imessage, since my iPhone didn't have a SIM card (it was in the Note 8). I'm pretty confident imessage would work if you wanted to have a SIM card in the iPhone at home and pay for that account, but then the iPhone would keep your number. I can always also assign my email to imessage and have people reach me that way. But most likely I will just switch to google voice for the last holdouts to imessage in my family, now that it has group conversations and MMS.

Those are the main things for me, that I can get notifications of messages, email and google voice. I have a few other apps such as hangouts ringing my AW and such I'll test out tomorrow.
 

apolloa

macrumors G5
Oct 21, 2008
12,245
7,698
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
OK some preliminary results, looking good so far. 7+ on iOS11, and 2 AW's both on Watch OS4. The AW's connect to my password protected hotspot on my Note 8 perfectly, no issues whatsoever. I left my iPhone at home connected to my home wifi network and went around the block with my Note 8 and AW to simulate going to work and leaving the iPhone at home.

Notifications came through perfectly. Email, google voice, etc all came through. I could control the apps I tried such as Ecobee, my vehicle app, etc. I could reply on google voice and email directly from the AW and it would send perfectly. The only missing link is imessage, since my iPhone didn't have a SIM card (it was in the Note 8). I'm pretty confident imessage would work if you wanted to have a SIM card in the iPhone at home and pay for that account, but then the iPhone would keep your number. I can always also assign my email to imessage and have people reach me that way. But most likely I will just switch to google voice for the last holdouts to imessage in my family, now that it has group conversations and MMS.

Those are the main things for me, that I can get notifications of messages, email and google voice. I have a few other apps such as hangouts ringing my AW and such I'll test out tomorrow.
Great work, seems promising, don’t forget to try Apple Pay too :)
 

Lloydbm41

Suspended
Oct 17, 2013
4,025
1,439
Central California
The LTE model may work for calls. I know at&t does number sync, so you could that to get the Apple watch number to sync up with your Android number, unless that's being handled by apple and not your carrier.
If ATT has a system like T-Mobile, then it wont matter what phone the number is attached to. The Apple watch LTE will ring, regardless of the phone being used.
 

epicrayban

macrumors 604
Nov 7, 2014
6,517
5,331
Doesn't look like the Apple Watch 3 w/ LTE is ready for prime time yet.


The Verge:

APPLE WATCH SERIES 3 WITH LTE REVIEW: MISSED CONNECTIONS
You should still call me on my cellphone

You can’t rest easy with the Apple Watch 3 yet, because that seamlessness, that so-called magic, isn’t there. The stutters during the handoff from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi to LTE shouldn’t happen. The music streaming? It isn’t there yet. A built-in podcast streaming option? Also not there. A reliable Siri? Nope, not in my experience.

... Considering that my Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE (both first and second review units) didn’t function like it was supposed to, I can’t recommend buying it — and paying the monthly cell fee — based on promises. I know I’m not.



SCORE: 5

GOOD STUFF
  • Option for LTE
  • Faster processor
  • watchOS 4 (not specific to this hardware)

BAD STUFF
  • Cellular connectivity problems
  • Apple Music streaming not working yet
  • Unreliable Siri
  • Notable battery drain with LTE

Ouch. And following the review, this article:

Apple admits to Apple Watch LTE problems just before it ships

Within the first couple days of experiencing this, Apple replaced my first review unit with a second one, but that one proved to be problematic, too.

Eventually, the company issued an official statement, acknowledging the issue. “We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular,” an Apple spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We are investigating a fix for a future software release.”
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: spinedoc77

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
Left my iPhone at home connected to my home wifi. At work I have my AW connected to my Note 8. Everything works perfectly so far, even getting my work phone to ring hangouts and getting the alert on my AW. So far this is doable. My concern now is battery life, but a couple hours in I don't notice the Note 8 suffering much in battery life. The AW seems to be a bit low so that may be an issue, took it off the charger at 8am and it's currently at 86%, where normally it would be in the mid to low 90%.
 
  • Like
Reactions: apolloa