It seems that we might no longer need to rely on hacks or workarounds to get Android Wear devices to work with iPhones in the hopefully very near future. MohammadAG, developer of the popular Xposed Framework root mods (Android counterpart of iPhone’s “jailbreak”) revealed on Twitter that he stumbled upon something quite interesting in Android Wear 4.4W code. In it, he saw code named AncsHandler, referring to iOS‘ Apple Notification Center Service, which to him implies that Google itself might actually be working on bridging Android Wear and iOS already.
Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh has developed a name outside of the Android community when he revealed his personal project of getting Android Wear, which normally works only with Android devices, to work with iPhones as well. While it isn’t as full-featured as Android Wear’s normal operating mode, it can at least notify users of important events. And just a few days ago, he even demonstrated how you can even accept or reject calls from an Android Wear smartwatch, hinting that other actionable notifications such as this might also be supported.
MohammadAG’s exploration revolved around the ANCS API which Apple includes with iOS. It is the same framework that devices like Pebble also use to the same effect. “ANCS” has now become a hot keyword, which led to the discovery of this piece of code. Apparently, Google also has the same ideas as this developer, but has been more quiet about it, presumably because things are still experimental and may still change, or even disappear.
Abu-Garbeyyeh mentions that he hasn’t yet checked whether Android Wear 5.0 has this piece of code as well. If it doesn’t, or doesn’t even have any related iOS code, we can presume that Google has made a U-turn. That said, adding Android Wear support for iOS devices could help in the adoption of Google’s smartwatches, especially in face of the arrival of the Apple Watch.