How to upgrade your Android Wear smartwatch for iOS

Android Wear gained the ability to work with iOS earlier this year, but only smartwatches released recently — the new Moto 360, the Huawei Watch, the Watch Urbane* — actually are compatible out of the box. For older Android wear devices**, you’ll need to upgrade your device to version 1.3 before you can pair with an iPhone. Here’s how to do it, and which devices are compatible!

* Up-to-date: ASUS ZenWatch 2, Huawei Watch, LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360 (2nd Gen), Moto 360 for Women, and Moto 360 Sport.

** Upgrade needed: ASUS ZenWatch, LG G Watch R, LG G Watch, Moto 360, Samsung Gear Live, Sony SmartWatch 3

Compatible devices



In order to use older Android Wear devices with iOS, you’ll need an Android phone or tablet running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or higher (the most recent version is Marshmallow, version 6.0). You can visit Google’s checker page to see if the Android device you’re using is compatible. Your iPhone will also need to be an iPhone 5 or later; you can check this on Google’s page as well.

Installation guide

1Install the Android Wear app from the Play Store (it’s free!), and run it. Once both phone and watch have Bluetooth turned on, you can proceed through the pairing process. This is pretty straight forward; just follow the on-screen instructions.

Once pairing is complete, you no longer need the Android device. On the Watch, visit the Settings menu, then access About. from here, click Check for updates. If an update is available, then you can download it. The process of downloading and installation takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on your internet speed. Once complete, your watch will restart. Visit Settings and About once again to confirm that you’re now on version 1.3.

2Finally, reset your Android Wear device to factory settings. Your watch will clear its memory, then restart – but the updated software will remain. This will bring it to the same state as any recent Android Wear smartwatch. From here, it’s a simple case of going through the setup procedure once again, but this time you’ll be able to pair with your iPhone.

Did these steps work for you? Let us know in the comments below.