Apple almost made an Android-compatible Apple Watch, says report

Google Pixel Watch vs. Apple Watch Ultra side-by-side on wrist
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • During Apple's report on its future health-based plans for its smartwatch, it briefly discussed its previous aspiration of making it compatible with Android.
  • This would've brought all of Apple's health features (fitness, too) over to the Android ecosystem, reaching more people as a result.
  • Apple apparently refused to progress any further after "business considerations" felt it best to keep its watch in-house.

As Apple talks about its future plans for health and its smartwatch, the potential for a future with Android was discussed in brief.

According to Bloomberg, it was stated that Apple engineers were apparently "deeply engaged in an effort to make the watch and Health app compatible with the billions of Android devices in circulation." This was an idea wrapped in Project Fennel, which was theorized internally to help Apple bring its smartwatch to more people in areas where it didn't hold the majority of consumer interest.

Moreover, Project Fennel making Apple's watch compatible with Android wouldn't have watered anything down. The device would've included all of the health features the watch has continued to have for Android users, as well.

The post adds that the project was canceled, although the company's engineers were nearly finished with adjustments and the like. It was said that other "business considerations" took over as Apple sees its watch as a primary "driver" of iPhone sales.

The publication cited someone with knowledge of the subject who stated, "If you gave up the watch to Android, you would dilute the value of the watch to the iPhone." It goes without saying that the idea of "diluting" the value of either device boils down to consumers having a choice. If they can grab an Android phone and an Apple Watch without the need for an iPhone, a dip in sales might ensue.

Unfortunately, we'll probably never see this come to pass as Apple looks to keep its exclusivity of devices and features. On the other hand, many Wear OS watches don't work with iOS outside of Fossil smartwatches and some others, so it's not like Apple is obligated to extend support.

Still, this isn't the first time the company has refused to share anything with Android, as it was reported back in 2021 that Apple thought about bringing iMessage to its competitor.

Ultimately, according to Craig Federighi, Apple's vice president of software engineering, this fell to the wayside as the company would "lose one of the most important apps in a mobile environment to Google." Moreover, Apple still refuses to #GetTheMessage and incorporate the new RCS standard for text messages into its default messaging app so everyone can enjoy encrypted talks and higher-quality media.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.