Google wants to make sure it gets smartwatches powered by its software on as many wrists as possible — even if that means treading into enemy territory.
The search giant on Monday said smartwatches that run Android Wear, the Google-made software tailored for wearable devices, will now work with Apple’s iPhones.
That move is a major shift in Google’s approach to smartwatches. Up until now, Android Wear smartwatches — made by hardware vendors including Samsung, Motorola and LG — only worked with Android-based smartphones. By connecting to iPhone users, Google expands its potential crop of customers — Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones in the last quarter alone.Google is likely hoping that making Android Wear smartwatches more widely usable will entice iPhone owners mulling a smartwatch purchase to consider an option other than the Apple Watch, which only works with the iPhone. Apple’s first wearable has become the world’s most popular smartwatch within its first few months on the market this year, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.