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How to use an LTE Apple Watch with an Android smartphone

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How to use an LTE Apple Watch with an Android smartphone

It is hacky as all hell and your battery existence shall be horrible. Nevertheless it works.

Whilst checking out the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular remaining night time, I floated a loopy thought previous iMore editor-at-large Rene Ritchie: What occurs for those who arrange the Apple Watch on an iPhone, then switch that iPhone's SIM card over into an Android phone? Would the watch acknowledge that its paired iPhone SIM used to be now not in an iPhone and prevent operating? Would it not nonetheless paintings over a provider's LTE connection? And extra importantly: If it labored, what may just it do?

Neatly, as a result of we include madness right here at iMore, we attempted it. And, barring slightly of hacky habits, it really works.

I am going to preface this writeup via announcing that I individually suppose this can be a horrible means to use the Apple Watch. Your battery existence will maximum indisputably be nonexistent, for the reason that watch only depends on a LTE connection. You will be unable to get any health information in your Android smartphone. And also you most likely will be unable to get right of entry to positive options like calling across the world or sending and obtain SMS messages out of your watch.

How we did it

I used my iPhone 8 Plus on AT&T and the brand new LTE Apple Watch Collection 3, alongside with a loaner Galaxy S8 Lively from Michael Fisher (of Mr. Cellular repute), who additionally shot a video which we're going to be posting quickly.

After surroundings the Apple Watch up, we swapped my iPhone 8 Plus's SIM card into the Galaxy S8 Lively, and remoted the iPhone 8 Plus in Plane mode in order that there used to be no conceivable means for the Apple Watch to attach to the iPhone or remembered Wi-Fi networks.

I unintentionally crashed the Galaxy S8 Lively the primary time I held it, as a result of I it appears have that ability with Android telephones; after that preliminary amusement, it took the Android machine a couple of mins to reboot and fasten to AT&T. All the way through that point, my watch confirmed a depressed "Disconnected," despite the fact that it did try to attach to the (restricted) mobile community within our resort in NYC.

As soon as the S8 Lively used to be attached, I went out of doors (to discover a more potent mobile sign) with most effective my watch. To kickstart it, I swapped the watch into Plane mode, then again out of it. Then I requested Siri to name my mom. It took Siri a couple of seconds longer than it has over previous Collection 3 queries, however Apple's assistant delivered — and a couple of mins later, I used to be speaking to my very-confused mom.

We did not forestall there, alternatively. Fisher and I then went up to our resort's rooftop terrace and positioned any other name (to him), requested Siri a couple of queries, and checked for instructions at the watch. We additionally despatched an iMessage (!) to Rene, which delivered effectively even via mobile; it seems that the watch has its personal iMessage handshake protocol cut loose iPhone when it is on mobile — despite the fact that your authentic phone SIM is now in an Android machine.

I additionally had Fisher position an inbound name to me from his older iPhone 7. The decision displayed on each the Apple Watch and the Galaxy S8 Lively; I then picked it up at the watch and we proceeded to communicate for a brief time period.


Issues we nonetheless have not examined, however I would really like to discover:

  • SMS ("inexperienced bubble") messaging: I could not get a directly SMS message to paintings when the usage of my Collection 3 over mobile generally, so I am curious to see if this may occasionally paintings in any respect. We additionally did not check receiving SMS messages at the watch.
  • Global calling: As with SMS, I could not get this to paintings when the usage of the Collection 3 in stand-alone mode, despite the fact that this can be an AT&T limitation (alongside with no roaming).
  • FaceTime Audio: If iMessage has its personal protocol at the watch, it stands to reason why that FaceTime Audio may as neatly — you would simply want to arrange the unique iPhone with iCloud, iMessage, and FaceTime addresses sooner than switching to Android.

Who may in reality need to use this

If I had to suggest this work-around to somebody, it might be households who've each an iPhone and an Android machine — those that want Android of their pocket however need an Apple Watch on their wrist, and they've a circle of relatives member with an available iPhone the place they are able to nonetheless sync health information, iCloud calendars, and alter settings.

Sure, it's essential to use some random buddy's iPhone to arrange your watch, however it is a horrible thought from a safety viewpoint. Truthfully, it is only a horrible thought, length. Do not do that.

Even supposing you do have a multi-device family, it is a long way from an best resolution: Your watch's battery existence goes to be terrible from it wanting to repeatedly try to search for LTE, and you'll be able to be lacking out on a large number of key options to be had to watch and iPhone customers. Additionally price bearing in mind: This "choice" may disappear at any time with a instrument update or a provider settings exchange.

What you wish to have

In case you are completely positive you need to do that, here is what you wish to have to get began.

  • An unlocked iPhone 6 or later
  • A factory-default Apple Watch Collection 3 GPS + Cell watch
  • An unlocked Android smartphone with a microSIM card slot
  • A mobile community that helps Apple Watch Collection 3 GPS + Cell fashions
  • A SIM elimination instrument

How to make your Apple Watch paintings with an Android smartphone

  1. Take away the SIM card from each your iPhone and your Android phone.
  2. Insert your Android phone's SIM card into the iPhone.
  3. As soon as your information connection permits, open the Watch app at the iPhone.
  4. Arrange your watch, and upload it to your provider's mobile community.
  5. End putting in place the Apple Watch.
  6. Transfer the SIM card from the iPhone to your Android phone.
  7. Toggle Plane mode off and on at the Apple Watch to be sure that it connects to its mobile community.

  8. Use your Apple Watch along your Android smartphone.

If you need to exchange your settings or sync your Apple Watch, you'll be able to have to repeat steps 1-3 then alter accordingly from the Watch app.

What do you suppose?

Would you do this madness to get a little bit slice of Apple in your wrist even with out an iPhone to your pocket? Tell us within the feedback.


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