Image source: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 does not work at all with iOS devices

The newly launched Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic will not work with iPhones. Whats more, some of the best health features are only reserved for those with Samsung Galaxy phones.

The much anticipated device was unveiled yesterday. Its specs certainly do not disappoint but only if you have a Samsung phone.

Those with non-Galaxy phones and especially those with iPhones should think twice before purchasing the new timepiece. That’s because they will not be able to access some of the health features. And iPhones are useless as they will not work with the device.

Best health features are reserved for those with Galaxy phones

The detail is in the small print. This shows that the best health features are not available to everyone.

One of these is the BioActive health sensor on the Galaxy Watch 4. This keeps tabs on blood pressure and blood oxygen levels. But in order to access these readings you will need the Samsung Health Monitor app. Which is only available on the Galaxy Store and not on the Google Play Store.

This is also the case for ECG. These readings are accessible only to those with a Samsung phone.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

It is not clear why the company did not push the app to the Play Store as well. After all, Samsung has developed the watch’s operating system together with Google. Perhaps this is an attempt to build some exclusivity around its device.

Or maybe this is a way of pushing sales of its smartphones. Which is hard to imagine. Do they really to expect that people will switch to Samsung phones just because of their watches?

Needless to say, the news has not gone down well with owners of other smartphones. Some Reddit threads are already posting links to cracked versions of the Health Monitor app. Not surprising, but it is not really the right way to go about things.

The strange thing is that during the official presentation the Samsung official says “…even if you don’t have a Galaxy smartphone, you will still be able to enjoy the benefits of the Galaxy Watch 4 series.”.

You will – but up to a point. For the full experience you will need a Galaxy phone.

The compatibility footnotes on Samsung’s website confirm this.

“ECG and BP feature only to be used by 22 years+. For accurate BP readings, a calibration is required every 4 weeks by BP monitor & arm cuff. Requires a Galaxy smartphone running Android 7.0 or above.”

As far as SpO2, the German product page has this to say.

“The function for measuring blood oxygen content (SpO2) is not suitable for the diagnosis of diseases, for their treatment and prevention. The function requires a Galaxy smartphone with Android 7 or higher or a newer version and the Samsung Health Monitor app, which is only available in the Galaxy Store.”

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will not work with iPhones

To make things worse, Galaxy Watch 4 will not work at all with iOS. So if you have an iPhone you will not be able to pair it with the watch. It will even not work on all Android phones – only those running Android 6.0 or above.

Since 2016 Samsung watches have had the ability to play nice with iOS. This was introduced first on the Gear 2 smartwatch that year, and subsequent devices that run the Tizen operating system.

These watches will continue to support iOS Samsung sys, but new ones have lost that compatibility. Whether this continues to be the case in the future remains to be seen.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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