Things you can do on Apple Watch that you cannot do on Android Wear (and vice versa)


Apple unveiled its new category of devices, a wearable called Apple Watch, but this new category has been long anticipated by competitors and comes on a market that is filled with rival products. The most prominent one? Android Wear.

Google unveiled the operating system back in March, but the first smartwatches have only recently gone on sale, and the ‘flagship’ timepiece, the Moto 360, has launched just a couple of days ago.

All in all, it’s clear that both the Apple Watch and Android Wear are technologies in their infancies. Good news is that we already know what they can and cannot do, and there are some very notable differences. What’s clear is that the Apple Watch - in the form it was announced in - has a vastly wider functionality. That’s why we’ve summed up the 10 things that the Apple Watch can do that Android Wear cannot.



Now, key to understanding these new wearables is to keep in mind that both are accessories to the phone, and not device made to operate independantly. This means that they are using the connection of your smartphone and a lot of the functionality will be lost without this connectivity. 

When you’re all nicely paired, and bits and bytes are flowing smoothly, there is a list of things that you can do equally well on both Apple Watch and Android Wear:



But what about actual functionality that Google’s Android Wear has and Apple’s Watch does not? The one unique thing that Android Wear has over Apple’s Watch is Google Now with its automatically popping cards. You don’t need to search for something like your boarding pass - Google is smart enough to read the data in it for you and show you the pass on your watch screen when you need it. For all else, though, Android Wear still feels raw in terms of functionality at the moment of this writing.

FEATURED VIDEO

58 Comments

1. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Wow. The Apple propaganda started !!!! Now make it same with Gear S and Apple Watch.

7. Carlosfrancoz

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 10, 2013

Hey PA the title of this article says: "Things you can do on Apple Watch that you cannot do on Android Wear (and vice versa)" where is the "vice versa" part here?? I can't find the 10 things that you can do on Android Wear that I cannot do on Apple Watch... I only see the things we can do on both... Geez

11. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Victor H. is star struck since the Apple event. Wait till you read this: 'While we have seen so many new watchfaces in Android Wear devices that have been unveiled recently, none come close to the sophistication that Apple teased in the new Apple Watch' - Victor H.

13. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Also there are flaws in the article. Android Wear does support animated watchfaces (you can use any gif you like). I think he's referring to the sophisticated Mickey Mouse watchface lol.

21. Cicero

Posts: 1115; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Victor H. you too? How many are you there. Are you ashamed of your articles? (Ray, Daniel and Victor)

25. sgodsell

Posts: 7187; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You can design a watch face for Android Wear to also be interactive and fully animated. There is nothing stopping anyone from doing so. Also the part about having a separate SDK. Maybe that is true for Apple. Does anyone know what the SDK looks like for Apple Watch? Does anyone know how much ram or storage is on the Apple Watch? That statement is certainly NOT true for Android Wear. When people download the latest Android SDK for the phone or tablets, they also get Android Wear as well. Why because Android Wear is KitKat 4.4W. Basically you can take an Android phone app and easily use the exact same code. The problems naturally occur for the screen size and the UI. Not to mention there is no keyboard input on Android Wear. But Android Wear is KitKat. You call yourselves tech writers. Learn the tech, and then you can write about it, properly.

27. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

And there are already widget managers for Android Wear, there are many many beautiful Zooper/UCCW widgets out there you can use as a watchface. And add functionality too.

12. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I was looking for that too. Also the things you can do with Apple and not Android are not many, glances are like notifications, which Android Wear supports. Also Tasker has an Android Wear app, which allows me to control my Hue lights, control home automation, turn on my computer, basically anything that Tasker support. Does the Apple watch let me translate? Or open my garage door? Only 2 options (so far) that Apple has that are neat, are paying with your watch (but that leaves out TouchID as security) and using it to call (which won't take long to implement in the near future).

22. Cicero

Posts: 1115; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Gear S.

14. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Well, for starters, Victor seemingly overlooked the small matter of WATERPROOFING...

31. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

We don't know if the Apple Watch is waterproof or not, they didn't mention one way or the other yet. And it wont be released until 2015. I mean..it is meant to be a fitness tracker and I wouldn't feel safe taking it running in the rain if it didn't have some waterproofing...which defeats a major point of what they're trying to sell you. If they don't have waterproofing on it, it is a major failure on their part.

33. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

True, and it's possible they could add waterproofing in between now and the time of its release even if it's not present now. Also, and I may have missed this part, but is there any word on off-line capability, i.e. the ability to stream music over Bluetooth, etc. without being paired to a phone that will be released with the next major Android Wear update (which, though not available now, will be for Android Wear devices long before the Apple Watch is even released)?

37. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Check the control music slide (#8) in the things both can do. "...leave your iPhone at home to go for a jog, and listen to music directly on Apple Watch" So I think it will still be able to track data and have some functionality without the phone, but to do anything meaningful with the data or to take advantage of things that require an internet connection you need to have it paired to the iPhone.

38. phreezerburn

Posts: 44; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

If they had room for the gaskets and O-rings in their design then they would already have the dust and water rating as it needs to be applied for then passed. Who makes a product to be water resistant, requires incorporation into the chasis design for all the rubber or cork, then never uses that space?

39. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

It apparently does have some waterproofing, we'll have to wait to see how good the rating is though. http://www.cultofmac.com/295055/apple-watch-water-resistant-waterproof/

40. erikiksaz

Posts: 170; Member since: Apr 22, 2010

Considering it's Apple, you don't think they would have mentioned it if it were? They probably would have "invented" it as well, hah.

41. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Literally in the link I posted right above you...

20. j_scorp

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 22, 2013

I just wasted my time looking for "vice versa". I should get some compensation for that.

34. donfem

Posts: 708; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Brilliant response. i support this.

51. Reeyawn

Posts: 66; Member since: Apr 21, 2013

Exactly. Where's the vice versa part? Lol I guess he doesn't know what vice versa means.

19. madmikepr

Posts: 138; Member since: Aug 09, 2011

+1 to you my friend Victor H I'm sorry my friend but bashing Android like this and saying those word is Unprofessional and it clearly make you look like those Blind Fanboys that say "Apple is the best because is Apple product please -_- If you gonna make an Apple article fine but do not talk like and typical Blind Fanboy Do ... Thank and have a Nice Day

44. engineer-1701d unregistered

ow wow its started hard core, hold on so i cant make phone calls from my android wear watch thats funny i do it every day, so i dont have 1 swipe to all my apps, like i do now, and i cant download and use another fitness tracker prog. or have custom faces on the watch like i do now. wow i thought i was doing that every day guess its a dream.

45. engineer-1701d unregistered

who wrote this crap. do they even have a smartwatch. or looked at one.

57. driven

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 22, 2015

Except that if you fast forward to the brand new Gear S2, you now lose the ability to make / take phone calls from the watch. (Also lost the camera and TV remote from the earlier Gear 2)

58. driven

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 22, 2015

Oh, and to point out that he was talking about Android Wear, not Tizen which the Gear S runs.

2. remyrz

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 28, 2010

actually iwatch looks pretty cool, finally after lots of years, apple users get some new stuf in their OS :) but still wanting moto360

3. hassoups

Posts: 473; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

lol when the original gear came out, PA was moaning about not wanting to make or take calls on the gear as if they were forced to. Now it's a feature that gives the apple watch an upper hand haha love it

24. Cicero

Posts: 1115; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

And original Gear it is better then this.

4. AliNSiddiqui

Posts: 382; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

Seems like Android and iOS switched in terms of functionality. One is concise and does a few things, other is basically fitting a smartphone into a watch similarly to how a desktop is fit into an Android smartphone.

42. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

That was one of the impressions I got from the iWatch. With all of it's weird social features I'm wondering... WHY?!? They're awkward and gimmicky. And I feel I should draw attention to the UI. It looks nice, but it hardly feels like it belongs next to the flat iOS8. It's like an awkward blend between iOS6 and 7, where Android Wear clearly demonstrates Google's newer design language.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.