Want to use an Apple Watch with an Android phone? You almost could have

This change could have totally reshaped the smartwatch market

watchOS 10.1 update brings double tap and a host of other features to Apple Watch
(Image credit: Apple)

In the last decade, no piece of technology has exploded onto the scene quite like the smartwatch. A wrist-mounted means of tracking health and fitness data, the market sector went from a pipe dream to one of the biggest in consumer technology.

Within the segment, no model family has more brand recognition than the Apple Watch. It was the first model to really take hold of public perception, being spotted on the wrist of just about everyone. It was so popular, in fact, that in 2019, sales of the Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry combined.

But there is one group of people who haven't boarded the Apple Watch hype train. If you're an Android phone user, the Apple Watch series has always been out of reach. That's because the devices are tied into working with iPhones only.

But that almost wasn't the case. According to a recent report from Bloomberg, there was a project in the works which could have seen the Apple Watch work with Android handsets.

While details remain few and far between, we know that the work was completed under the codename Project Fennel. The report also suggests that the project was almost completed, when it was inevitably canned.

There's no concrete reasoning for that, either. A source with knowledge of the situation said that the crushing blow came down to sales figures for the iPhone. The Apple Watch proved to be a big driver of sales for the iPhone range, and allowing users the chance to use it with Android handsets could have diluted that.

According to the report, though, the project was set to bring health data from the Apple Health app to Android handsets. What is interesting is how that could have pushed the collaborative efforts between the two operating systems. While the two are fairly incompatible these days, something like this could have served as  a catalyst to bring the two together.

Still, that's all in the past now. Fortunately for Android phone users there are a wealth of other smartwatches available. Everything from the Google Pixel Watch 2 to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and even hardcore Garmin watches can be used with those devices.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.