Android Wear has supported the iPhone for a while, but the experience has been rather jilted. Unlike the Apple Watch, the experience didn't "just work", it was more a case of "barely worked".
There are a lot of reasons why, not least because of the approach that Apple takes to keeping its ecosystem locked down tight, but also because of the lack of Google's Play Store on the iPhone, meaning a dirge of apps. You can read all about the old position on the link below.
One of the big changes in Android Wear 2.0 is standalone apps. This means that the app can be installed directly on the watch, which has its own app store. Currently, you'd have to install the Wear compatible app on your Android phone to enjoy it on your watch.
With Android Wear 2.0, your watch will be able to connect itself to the network, either via Wi-Fi or LTE (if and when LTE-equipped watches hit the market), so you can install those apps directly, with no need for a connected device.
For an iPhone user, that means you can install Uber or Strava or Runkeeper on an Android Wear smartwatch, without encountering any problems with your iPhone, as one isn't dependent on the other.
Google has confirmed that the following apps will be standalone, so can be used by Android or iPhone users:
- Android Pay
- Google Fit
- Google Messenger
- Google Play Music
- Uber and many more
The interesting app on this list is Android Pay. That's a given for Android phone users, but it appears that iPhone users will at some point in the future also have the freedom to use Android Pay on their wrist, meaning they don't lose out on this convenience feature by not using an Apple Watch.
There's no real telling what the overall experience is going to be like for an iPhone user, and we suspect it won’t be as seamless and slick as it is on Apple Watch, but Android Wear 2.0 could unlock a whole world of variety when it comes to choosing your next piece of connected wristwear.