Which Wear OS 3 watches can be connected to iOS?
The Fossil Gen 6 series, which received the Wear OS 3 update in October, is compatible with iPhones, although its functionality may be limited compared to an Apple Watch. The same is true for the Montblanc Summit 3 luxury watch and will likely be true for eligible Mobvoi TicWatches once they get Wear OS 3.
But Samsung and Google watches aren’t compatible with iOS, and probably never will be.
Is it worth buying a Wear OS watch for your iPhone?
Before Wear OS 3, many Wear OS 2 watches were compatible with iOS, including the Galaxy Watch 3. Brands like Mobvoi and Fossil still have their own iOS apps, while the Wear OS by Google app is a more generic option for connecting an Android -Watch offers to an iPhone.
For now, the Wear OS watches below either work with iOS or, in the case of Mobvoi watches like the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, probably should Once they get the promised Wear OS 3 update since their current software is iOS compatible:
- Fossil Gen 6 (including Wellness Edition)
- Michael KorsGen 6
- Skagen Falster Gen 6
- Montblanc Summit 3
- TicWatch Pro 3 GPS/LTE*
- TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra*
- TicWatch E3*
In theory, the benefit of going for the Fossil Gen 6, for example, would be that you get a sleek and cheaper alternative to the Apple Watch that gives you the same iOS notifications. The question is, should you?
Longtime Android users are understandably suspicious, however, as Wear OS watches had a notorious problem of frequently disconnecting from iPhones, requiring you to repeatedly resync them. Luckily, some fossil-carrying Redditors (opens in new tab) have reported that this is less of an issue with their Fossil watches running Wear OS 3, as long as you never close the Fossil app in your recent apps.
Still, it’s an undeniable fact that Apple is intentionally reserving many iPhone-to-Watch features for the Apple Watch — which is likely why the Galaxy Watch 5 and Pixel Watch don’t work with iPhones. Samsung and Google could have this enabled, but probably felt it wasn’t worth the bother if their watches were too limited, which would only have biased iPhone users against them.
At the same time, Google and Samsung have their own exclusive Android watch features that Fossil doesn’t have access to just yet. Most prominently, Wear OS watches don’t have access to the Google Assistant. Google told us they are “taking the time to ensure [their] Apps and services provide a quality experience.”
Access to Google Assistant would be a compelling reason to choose an Android watch over the Apple Watch if you’re not interested in using Siri on a daily basis. Without it, you can use the Alexa Assistant, or just accept using your watch for relatively limited tasks like checking notifications (but not responding to them) or completing tracked workouts.
Ultimately, Wear OS 3 on iOS will likely prove to be a better experience than Wear OS 2 in the long run, but you’ll have to settle for smaller Android watch brands as it seems Google and Samsung have it all on the Android phone given experience instead.
Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition
A compelling iOS alternative
Our Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition reviewer said if “you’re an iPhone user considering something other than an Apple Watch,” you should consider buying this watch. You get a sleek stainless steel design, no-fuss fitness software, and ridiculously fast charging for a much lower price than an Apple Watch.