Google is adding iOS support to its Android Wear smart watch platform, making it possible for iPhone owners to get notifications about phone calls and other functionality on a supported Android Wear watch.
Adding iOS support to Android Wear is a big step toward bridging the gap between the two mobile operating systems for consumers interested in wearable devices. Apple’s own Apple Watch works only with the company’s iPhone, and Android Wear devices have thus far only been compatible with Android phones.
Still, there are some limits to this new cross-platform support. Android Watch users can get notifications from a number of apps delivered to their wrist, and Google offers deep integration into some of its own apps, making it possible to interact with Google Now or dictate emails to Gmail.
However, users still have to take their phone out of their pocket if they want to reply to a text message, or interact with other apps, like they would be able to in conjunction with an Android phone. That’s because Apple doesn’t give third parties the ability to add this kind of functionality.
Initially, iOS support is available only for the LG Urbane smart watch. Google said Monday that future models from other manufacturers, including Motorola’s second-generation Moto 360 as well as models from Huawei and Asus, will work with iPhones as well.