Samsung Watch 4 cannot connect to iPhone as it is based on the Wear OS. Google’s Wear OS comes with native support for Android devices only. Samsung Watch 4 is the first Galaxy watch to be based on the Wear OS platform. We look at the key aspects of Samsung Watch 4’s compatibility with iOS and Android mobile operating systems.
Why is Samsung Watch 4 not compatible with iPhone?
Samsung made a shift from the Tizen OS to Wear OS for Samsung Watch 4. The previous generation Samsung smartwatches were based on Samsung’s own proprietary operating system that is called the Tizen operating system. Samsung Watch 4, however, moved over to the Wear OS that has been custom designed for the Samsung Watch 4. The new operating system that powers the Samsung Watch 4 has been jointly developed by Samsung and Google. The underlying architecture is powered by the Google Mobile System architecture. As of now, Samsung Watch 4 is based on the Wear OS version 3.
What this means is that iOS devices are not supported by Samsung Watch 4. Infact, there is no way a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 can be activated over an iPhone device. Device activation of Samsung Watch 4 cannot happen through an iPhone.
Some people are of the opinion that Samsung Watches did not have a huge following of the iPhone users. This is true to a great extent. And, possibly, Samsung decided to move away from Tizen OS to Wear OS. This move is likely to reflect on the Samsung Watch 5 that is likely to be launched in August 2022. It appears that Samsung Watch 4 and Samsung Watch 5 will continue to make use of the Wear OS based on the Google Mobile system architecture.
All the previous generation Galaxy smartwatches are still compatible with iOS and iPhone devices because these are based on the Tizen OS.
On a side note, MontBlanc’s summit is powered by Wear OS 3. It has native support for Android mobile phones. It also supports iPhones and can be used alongside an iPhone device. So, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4’s lack of support for iPhone could be a conscious decision taken by Samsung to stick to the Android platform. Samsung may be looking to chart a future within the Android ecosystem.
Tizen OS vs Wear OS 3
Why did Samsung decide to move away from its own Tizen OS to Google Mobile System’s Wear OS? What are the key aspects of the Wear OS version 3 and the Tizen OS. Samsung Watch 4 was the first watch to adopt Wear OS 3 last August.
Wear OS is a project that is under evolution. Started in 2013 as Android Wear, Google rechristened it to the Wear OS in 2018. Samsung and Google were the key investors in the Android Wear project.
What are the essential feature and performance improvements of Wear OS powered smartwatches over the Tizen OS?
- Google’s Wear OS 3 has a faster touch performance. The user interface is swifter and you can move between apps by doing a double press of the smartwatch’s tactile button on the side of the watch.
- Faster app performance is one of the important goals behind the development of Google’s Wear OS. Google has worked on improving app performance by over 30 percent over the previous generation Wear OS smartwatches. Better smartwatch app performance leads to better loading times of the apps on a Wear OS 3 powered smartwatch.
- Google Maps have native support on the Wear OS 3. Samsung’s Tizen OS did not have native support for Google Maps. However, you could install Google Maps on Tizen OS through one of the workarounds that involved installing a third party app for navigation services.
- One of the most significant differences between Tizen OS and Wear OS 3 is the lack of support for iPhone smartphones in the Wear OS 3. Tizen OS did have support for Android and iOS devices. However, MontBlanc Summit smartwatch is also powered with Wear OS. It supports Android smartphones and iOS devices alike. It is unclear if MontBlanc has added iOS support over and above the Wear OS 3 as a separate module.
- Better battery life – Google’s Wear OS 3 was expected to improve device efficiency and improve battery life of the smartwatches powered by the Wear OS 3 system. The intended battery life improvement seems to be a step in the right direction. Samsung Watch 4, however, has a battery that can last for up to 2 days.
- LTE Support on Wear OS 3 – Wear OS 3 comes with native support of the cellular network or LTE networks. Samsung Watch 4 has Classic edition watches and also the LTE edition watches that allow you to connect to cellular networks through the Samsung Watch 4 directly.
- Developer community – A move from Tizen OS to Wear OS 3 allows Samsung Galaxy smartwatches to get massive developer community support. There is a higher number of available apps to enhance functionality of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 on account of the move away from Tizen OS to the Wear OS 3 version.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 does not work with an iPhone. It is likely that the future version of Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 will also stick to the Android ecosystem. The move to Wear OS 3 from Tizen operating system completes a lateral move to the Wear OS project that was jointly launched by Samsung and Google in the year 2013.
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Helen Kurt is a geeky nerd who loves to cover the wearables space. She has over 5 years of experience in the smartwatch domain. You can reach her on email at [email protected].