Apple iPhones (iOS) cannot be used with Samsung’s Wear OS 3 smartwatches, such as the Galaxy Watch 4 & 4 Classic. And it was unclear until recently if OS 3 itself or Samsung was to blame for this. However, given that earlier iterations of Wear OS had compatibility issues with iOS, it appeared that Samsung’s new smartwatches were more to blame than the Wear OS that powers them.
This has now been confirmed, however not by Samsung, but by another brand. This Android-only restriction will be broken by the first non-Samsung smartwatch using Wear OS 3, bringing Google’s wearable platform to iPhone (iOS) users.
Montblanc Summit 3 will be the first Wear OS 3 smartwatch compatible with iOS
The upcoming Montblanc Summit 3 will not only run Wear OS 3, but it will also be the first smartwatch on the new unified platform to support iOS — kind of.
The news was initially reported on by Wareable. Following this, it was confirmed to The Verge by a Qualcomm representative named Lauren Miller. Montblanc Summit 3 is the first smartwatch to ship with Wear OS 3 pre-installed. Albeit it is not the first to run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus platform. Its compatibility for iOS marks a considerable divergence from other OS 3 devices that have been officially verified. For instance, the upcoming Google Pixel Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 range are only available to Android users.
Even while older Wear OS 2 and Samsung Tizen smartwatches were never very well-liked by iPhone owners, they do function with iOS. Later this year, 4100 Plus chipset-based Wear OS 2 watches may be upgraded to OS 3. However, it’s not yet known if the improved versions of these watches will still work with iOS.
The absence of iOS from the Pixel Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 suggested that Wear OS 3 will be a closed ecosystem. The move by Montblanc to support iPhone users, however, raises the possibility that other Wear OS watch manufacturers, such as Fossil and Mobvoi, would do the same for upcoming devices or even maintain some level of iOS compatibility when updating previous watches.
Montblanc Summit 3 companion app serves as a “bridge between phone and watch”
The Summit 3 will feature a specialised companion app for both iOS and Android that will serve as a “bridge between phone and watch,” according to Miller. That also suggests that if Fossil & Mobvoi want to retain iOS users in the mix, they may also need to create their own applications.
However, just because the Summit 3 is compatible with iPhones does not imply that iOS users will have the same Wear OS 3 experience as Android users.
According to Google spokesperson Ivy Chen Hunt, “Our priority for Wear OS 3 is to focus on quality experiences within the Android ecosystem. The Montblanc Summit 3 will run Wear OS 3 and be compatible with iPhones. However, app and experience support will differ depending on the phone platform.” Hunt continued by stating that Google already mirrors notifications and supports iOS with applications and services like YouTube Music, with intentions to increase support in the future.
Given this, it’s probably reasonable to anticipate that OS 3 won’t be as good on iPhones at first. Before the Montblanc Summit 3’s July 15 debut, we won’t know exactly how the iOS experience will vary. Despite this, the watch’s price is jaw-dropping €1,250 (about $1,300). Although the Summit 3 is the first OS 3 watch that is officially compatible with iOS, you might be better off waiting for more reasonably priced choices from Fossil or Mobvoi that could appear later this fall.