Does Apple Watch Work With Android? [Here’s What to Know!]

If one has an Apple Watch, one also has an iPhone, right? Wrong. There are often circumstances where a non-iPhone user either ends up with an Apple Watch or wants to get an Apple Watch. And in these cases, one must know whether the watch can even work with an Android.

An Apple Watch does not and cannot work with the Android operating system. However, if one can wipe the Android OS and replace it with iOS through phone cloning, one can use an Apple Watch with the modified smartphone. Phone cloning is risky and expensive.

In this article, you will learn everything you must know as an Apple Watch owner with an Android phone. Whether you want an Apple Watch, have won it in a lucky draw, or have received it, you will learn more about your options. We will also go over some alternatives that provide the same functionality without the clunky incompatibility of an Apple Watch.

But first, let’s address the four contexts that can create the dilemma you’re currently experiencing.

Apple Watch Android Dilemma

If you have an Apple Watch and an android smartphone, you have to reckon with the fundamental incompatibility of the two. However, the context around this problem can vary. The following table guides you on the lowest-effort solution for each situation.

If you received an Apple Watch as a gift and own a Samsung phone, you can resell or regift the Apple Watch. Trading it for an android smartwatch is practical.The only way you can use the Apple Watch with your Samsung phone is to wipe your phone and clone an iPhone onto it.
I want an Apple Watch but own an Android phone.You can buy an Android smartwatch or use the Apple Watch after setting it up with a friend’s iPhoneThe latter has limited functionality, but you can still use the smartwatch to an impressive degree.
I used to own an iPhone but am planning to buy an Android device. I already have an Apple Watch.You can trade your Apple Watch for an Android watch or get an iPhone insteadThe Apple Watch will not work with your new phone
I really like how the Apple Watch looks, but I don’t own an iPhone.You can use the watch as just a watch after setting it up with an iPhone.If the reason you get an Apple Watch is to maintain appearances, limited functionality isn’t as big of a hindrance.

“There has to be another way,” you might think. There technically is one. Where there is a will, there is a way, but the will to make an Apple Watch work with an Android has to be strong enough to make you follow through with some extremely complicated steps. Once you understand why Apple Watch doesn’t work with Android smartphones in general, you’ll know how to make yours work anyway.

Why Apple Watch Doesn’t Work With Android?

Knowing the reason behind the incompatibility is key to using your Apple Watch with an Android phone. So, let’s examine why Apple doesn’t make its smartwatch compatible with Android and other operating systems.

It might seem like the reason is greed, but given that the watch is cheaper than the latest iPhone, it would make more sense to open it up for non-iPhone users to boost sales. The odds of a potential Apple Watch user buying an iPhone just to use an Apple Watch are extremely low. The real reason is related to functionality.

Apple Watch has plenty of apps that integrate directly with the iPhone and run on iOS. To achieve the same degree of integration on Android would not be feasible for Apple. As a result, Apple Watch can work on phones that run iOS.

In other words, if you can find a way to run the iPhone iOS on an android device, you can use an Apple Watch with it. Is it worth the trouble? Not really.

How Can I Connect an Apple Series 5 Watch to Android Phones?

To connect an Apple Series 5 watch to an android phone, you need to clone an iPhone to a wiped Android device. This would run the iOS on the android device, which would allow pairing with Apple Watch. Alternatively, you can buy an Android Smartwatch.

Apple Watch Series 5 is modestly priced and offers advanced functionality. However, its features are limited by its reliance on an iPhone. If you do not have an iPhone, you can use your friend’s iPhone to set up your watch. But after that, your smartwatch data will be accessible to the phone it is connected to.

A smartwatch with similar functionality to an Apple Watch Series 5 is SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 5. Where an Apple Watch won’t work with any other brand smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy watch works with every android phone, including non-Samsung phones.

It has GPS and Bluetooth functionality, and it connects to WiFi. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 tracks your sleep and fitness activity and lasts longer than the Apple Watch. It also comes in cellular and non-cellular varieties, neither of which require a Samsung phone. It will even work with an iPhone. The opposite, as you’ll see below, isn’t true.

Will the Apple Watch Work With Android Devices?

An Apple Watch will not work with android devices unless you employ a hack to clone an iPhone onto an android device. Since people don’t lend their phones for cloning, you would need to buy an iPhone anyway.

So your choices are:

  • Get an iPhone just so you can use an Apple Watch 
  • Get a smartwatch you can use with any non-Apple iPhone.

Both these options have their strengths and weaknesses. While it might seem non-sensical to get a new phone just to make an Apple Watch work, you do get all the benefits of the new phone. So you’re not wasting your money on a new iPhone.

However, if you’re not in the market for a new iPhone, it is far easier to get a smartwatch that runs an Android system. These watches are generally cheaper than the Apple Watch and tend to have similar functions. That said, if you get an Apple Watch as a gift, your usage options are limited.

Getting an Android Smartwatch might be out of the question, while getting another phone to use as a gift would be impractical. In such cases, reselling the Apple Watch would be a better solution.

Apple Watch Reselling Options: What to do with an Apple Watch gift as an Android user.

  • Trade in at the Apple Store – The Apple Store offers a fair trade-in for its used devices. If your Apple Watch has not been used, it will fetch a nearly new Apple Watch price. However, the money will be given to you in the form of store credit, which you will not be able to cash out. If you plan to get iTunes gift cards worth an Apple Watch’s value, go ahead with this option. 
  • Resell on eBay – On eBay, you can get a decent market value for an Apple Watch. It will start with a low ball, but the bidding system of the platform will take over and make sure your Apple Watch fetches a good price.
  • Resell on Facebook Marketplace – Facebook Marketplace is a quicker way to sell an old item because you don’t need to create a new account to pull it off. The Facebook Marketplace is accessible to anyone with a Facebook account.
  • Regift – Although taboo, regifting your Apple Watch to an iPhone user is also a solution to your dilemma. You might even request a friend who has an iPhone to get an Android smartwatch and swap it with your Apple Watch. Given that Android smartwatches are cheaper, they might be willing to agree to your deal.

Can the Apple Watch App Work on Samsung Phones?

An Apple Watch can work on Samsung phones if you already have an iPhone that you clone onto the Samsung device. This is an unfeasible yet technically possible solution. Samsung Smartwatches are far more compatible with the Apple Watch.

If you have a Samsung phone, you should not get an Apple Watch. Instead, you should opt for a Samsung Galaxy Watch or any other smartwatch. Most non-Apple smartwatches run an Android system and pair with mobile phones via Bluetooth.

Even though the Apple Watch pairs with an iPhone through Bluetooth, it cannot do so with a Bluetooth-enabled android phone. The only way you can pull off pairing an Apple Watch with a Samsung phone is to follow these (expensive) steps:

  1. Get an iPhone 
  2. Clone the iPhone to a Samsung Device
  3. Pair your Apple Watch with the Samsung Phone that runs on iOS.

Here are three reasons not to install iOS on Samsung:

  1. Your device can run into compatibility issues. 
  2. You might not be able to access the entire function roster of Apple or Samsung smartphones.
  3. You need to get an iPhone to follow this method. The same iPhone can directly pair with your Apple Watch.

Does the Nike+ Apple Watch Sync With an Android Phone?

The Nike+ Apple Watch is just like other Apple Watches in that it does not sync with an Android phone. Apple Watches are meant to be purchased by iPhone owners and require an iPhone for their initial setup.

The Nike Apple deal is for the logo and sports-related connotations of the Nike brand. The special watch is not in any way independent of Apple’s closed ecosystem philosophy. Even if Nike came out with a smartphone, the Nike+ Apple Watch wouldn’t be compatible with it.

Can the Apple Watch Series 4 Connect With Android Phones?

Despite being older, Apple Watch Series 4 isn’t very different from the latest Series in its Android incompatibility. Apple has maintained its closed ecosystem long before the launch of the Apple Watch. It doesn’t seem like that will change.

Apple Watch Series 4 also have advanced capabilities like a heart rate reader and an altimeter. These are strictly limited in the absence of an iPhone. It is often said that those without an iPhone can simply set up their respective Apple Watches by borrowing an iPhone. But when the device is not paired with the iPhone, it is limited to browsing functions.

How Can I Use an Apple Watch as a Simple Watch Without an iPhone?

To use an Apple Watch as a simple watch, you need to borrow an iPhone to set up the watch. Once the watch is set up, you can use its cellular (if available) and WiFi functions independently of whether you have an iPhone nearby.

What Should You Do if You Have an Apple Watch but No iPhone?

If you buy an Apple Watch or get one as a gift, you need an iPhone to set it up. In the absence of an iPhone, the Apple Watch cannot work. You need to borrow an iPhone and use it to set up your Apple Watch. Once the device is set up, you can use it independently of your phone.

Here are the functions you will have access to:

  • Listen to music – You can use the Apple ID to which the watch is connected at the setup stage. 
  • Listen to Podcasts – There are many podcasts on the Apple-backed platform. Again, an Apple ID is required.
  • Play and Record voice memos – These are offline activities that don’t need an iPhone.
  • Make Calls (if the device is cellular) – If you have a cellular plan on your Apple Watch, you can make calls even when the watch is away from an iPhone.

If you can trade the Apple Watch for an Android one, you can pair it with your Android smartphone to get a better feature stack. Depending on the smartwatch, you might be able to:

  • Track your heart rate 
  • Monitor your sleep
  • Get fitness data
  • Browse the internet
  • Download music
  • Make calls
  • Get directions via Google Maps
  • Maintain a calendar
  • Check your SMS
  • Receive emails

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