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Android Wear support may soon arrive on Apple's iPhone

Google is almost ready to bring support for Android Wear devices to the iPhone, but public availability will be dependent not only on Apple approval but whether Google decides to release it, a new report claims.

Citing a source close to the project team, The Verge reported on Thursday that Google is "close to finishing the final technical details," and that in the technology's current state, Wear devices would support many of the same functions they're capable of when paired with Android phones. Through a companion iOS app, Wear owners would be able to get notifications, Google Now cards, and voice commands such as search.

More complex features, like replying to email, might be dependent on a person installing other Google apps such as Gmail. Also ambiguous is whether people would have access to functions like music controls, but that is already supported by Pebble smartwatches, which pair with both iOS and Android.

Google is likely to want to bring Android Wear to the iPhone, since while it doesn't make any smartwatches itself, support could strengthen the Android ecosystem and increase the use of its services.

There has been speculation that Apple may be resistant to allowing its chief rival to compete with the Apple Watch, which ships April 24. But the company may not have any reasonable basis for objection, given that Pebble is already on the App Store and targeting Google might be seen as anti-competitive.

Word of Android Wear coming to the iPhone first emerged in early March. It was suggested that Google could announce official support at May's Google I/O conference, but that it might arrive even earlier with the Apple Watch soon to launch.