Although Samsungs watch is designed for use on Android devices, it is compatible with iPhones as well. The Samsung Watch can connect with an iPhone through Bluetooth, and it will function with most of the same features that the Android devices have. Once connected, you can utilize all the features on the Samsung Watch, including notifications, fitness tracking, and more.
You will need to download the Samsung Gear app from the app store and follow the on-screen instructions to pair your device. It is not clear if you have to pair another one for non-LTE watches, but the Samsung Gear S app will tell you that depending on which model you pick.
There is no replacement for the Watch app on Android, though the device supports Bluetooth. If you quit Samsungs Gear S app, your watch will lose its Watch connection, and it will no longer receive notifications, messages, and calls from your phone. You need to connect the watch to Wi-Fi and log into your Samsung Galaxy Account on your mobile device in order to activate receiving.
Use your Samsung Account to connect to your mobile device with your watch remotely via Wi-Fi or Mobile Data. Unlike its latest smartwatch, your iPhone, Samsungs Galaxy Watch 5 smartwatch works on iOS and Android devices. Honestly, our recommendation is that you stick to the Apple Watch for iPhone, while using your Samsung Galaxy device (or another compatible Android device) to make the most out of the Galaxy Watch Active.
If you have an iPhone and are strongly committed to wearing the Galaxy Watch, you could still go with an older model of watch running Tizen OS, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 or Galaxy Watch Active 2, which are both still ranked among the best Galaxy smartwatches. Even if Samsung eventually ditches its proprietary Tizen OS for smartwatches starting with the Galaxy Watch 4 line, Samsungs older Galaxy watches will still be compatible with an iPhone. Samsung is not switching any of its older models over to Samsung-powered Wear OS, which means that they will continue running Tizen, and continue supporting iPhones as they have all along. In other words, Samsung is not going to drop iOS support from its Tizen products.
It is not clear why Samsung decided to drop support for iPhone compatibility in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, but iPhone compatibility may find its way into the next-generation Galaxy Watch 5, provided that no hardware or software limitations remain. The Galaxy Watch – particularly if The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 comes out – will be able to pair with iOS devices running on iOS 9.0 and higher, which is what will be on iPhone 5s and later models.
As you may have deduced, the App Store is only partly functional when you plug a Samsung Galaxy Watch into your iPhone, so expect to see some apps you cannot see and use. There are a few differences between what kinds of apps you will find on the Samsung Store as opposed to the Google Play Store on Android Wear 2.0 watches, and both offer distinct interfaces, but ultimately, you will find much of the same functionality across the platforms when using it with the iPhone 7 Plus. Tizen and Android are both foreign OSes compared to iOS, but Samsung watches and Android Wear devices both offer compatibility with the iPhone through its iOS apps. Just as with Android Wear before it, Samsungs Gear S3 and S2 smartwatches ultimately gained compatibility with the iPhone 7 Plus, giving Apple phone users yet another option for a wearable device other than an Apple Watch.
The inclusion of the latest Wear OS, developed by Google and Samsung together, rather than Tizen OS, used on the earlier-generation Google Galaxy watches, means that the Galaxy Watch 4 will not work with the iPhone. The next Pixel Watch will run Wear OS, but there is also the newly launched Montblanc Summit 3. What is cool about Montblancs smartwatch is that despite running Wear OS 3, it is compatible with the iPhone.
The fact that Samsungs Galaxy Watch 4 is unusable on iOS devices, and does not perform quite so well on some Android phones, might not be great news for those outside of Samsungs ecosystem, but if you do happen to own the Galaxy S21, or one of Samsungs other top phones, it is still something to check out. If you have been curious about the Galaxy smartphones for some time now, and want to know more, I would recommend reading the One Month Later review by Jaime Rivera, and our case deals and collections on it. The forthcoming Pixel Watch does not currently mention any iPhone compatibility, and support is limited to phones running Android 8 and up.
While you may be thinking Samsungs latest move is about creating a bit of an exclusive, similar to the Apple Watchs exclusivity in its iPhones compatibility, it is not really. In case you are wondering, that discrimination is just with iPhones, since you will get to send, receive, and react to messaging notifications when the watch is paired with a Galaxy phone.
To be safe, you can use the smartwatch for keeping a tab on messages, and then reply to them using the iPhone later on, should you be out of range at that time. Once connected, you will see the status of your watch in the app home screen on the iPhone. Connecting reverts your watchs connection to the previous phone and resets your watch.
When the Samsung Watch is connected to an iPhone, the Samsung Bixby Assistant works, but you cannot use Siri from the watch. Meanwhile, Siri will be useless when connected to the Samsung Galaxy Watch, since it simply instructs you to carry on with your actions in Apple.
Which is better, Apple or Samsung watch?
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 competition lacks a clear victor. For iPhone users, the Apple Watch is the best option, while for Android users, the Galaxy Watch 4 is the best option. But now that Samsung and Google have partnered, it may be able to appeal to Fitbit users by offering the best Fitbit products.