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Apple worked for years to make Apple Watch compatible with Android, says report

Apple Watch Series 9

It's the hard truth that the Apple Watch only works with the iPhone and it might be nothing more than a paperweight for many Android users. However, if things turned out to be different, the company might have made its smartwatch compatible with Android.

The Cupertino giant worked on an Apple Watch for Android for about three years but dropped the idea due to "technical limitations," according to a report from 9to5Mac. The information came after the US Department of Justice, along with 16 other state and district attorneys general, sued Apple "for monopolization or attempted monopolization of smartphone markets."

The lawsuit alleges that owning an Apple Watch makes it harder for a user to switch to a "different kind of smartphone" as the smartwatch is only compatible with the iPhone, adding that "doing so requires the user to abandon their costly Apple Watch" and buy a new Android-compatible smartwatch. The lawsuit further reads:

Apple recognizes that driving users to purchase an Apple Watch, rather than a third-party cross-platform smartwatch, helps drive iPhone sales and reinforce the moat around its smartphone monopoly.

For example, in a 2019 email the Vice President of Product Marketing for Apple Watch acknowledged that Apple Watch “may help prevent iPhone customers from switching.” Surveys have reached similar conclusions: many users say the other devices linked to their iPhone are the reason they do not switch to Android.

Apple is already known for its ecosystem stickiness, and the Apple Watch offers various cross-platform features that enhance user experience. For instance, you can unlock your Mac with an Apple Watch or use it as a capture button to take photos. However, you can only pair your Apple Watch with a single iPhone to backup your data, initial setup, and use its core features.

While Apple may have faced technical limitations for the Android platform, it has offered limited Apple Watch support on its own products, including iPad. If you're an Android user who wants to own an Apple Watch, the best you can do is pair it with your friend or family member's iPhone using Family Setup.

Speaking of Android, Google tried to make up for Apple Watch's absence by launching its own smartwatch named Pixel Watch. The company also purchased the wearable technology company Fitbit in January 2021 and started selling Fitbit products on the Google Store.

Source: 9to5Mac

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