Peloton’s machines will now automatically integrate with smartwatches from Samsung, Google, Fossil, and anyone else using Wear OS 3. That includes not only Peloton’s bikes and treadmill but also its rower and Guide strength training system.
The integration rolls out today as part of an update to the Peloton app. Basically, once you open a workout on a Peloton machine, you’ll be prompted to pair your Wear OS 3 watch. After you tap the connect button, you’ll then be able to use the smartwatch as a heart rate monitor.
The major benefits here are that you won’t have to shell out for an extra Bluetooth heart rate monitor to use Peloton’s heart rate-based features like its Strive Score. Peloton sells a $90 heart rate band that you strap to your arm (it’s fine), but a single-use wearable isn’t exactly a better value than a smartwatch that can do a whole lot more than track a single fitness metric.
There are a few requirements and caveats, however. For starters, you’ll need to make sure that your smartphone runs Android 8.0 or later and version 6.22 of the Samsung Health app. The older Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 isn’t compatible, but other non-Samsung Wear OS 3 watches are.
It’s about time Peloton gave Android users some love, as the company tends to prioritize iOS and Apple Watch users. (That’s technically still the case here, as Peloton released an Apple Watch integration for its machines around this time last year.) But while this is good news for Wear OS 3 overall, it also highlights the platform’s weaknesses. On the one hand, it’s a reminder that Wear OS 3 has a much more robust third-party app ecosystem than Wear OS 2 ever had. That, combined with Google’s continued efforts on this front, are promising signs.
On the other hand, even a Wear OS 3-wide release doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a fragmented platform. While Apple Watches offer a pretty universal experience, you can have three totally different experiences with a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Pixel Watch, and the Fossil Gen 6. Even this announcement exclusively highlights Samsung’s watches — mainly because Samsung wrote it and doesn’t mention any other watches. Peloton had to clarify after initial publication that it’s actually all Wear OS 3 devices. But hey, at least we now know it’s available on all Wear OS 3 devices.
Correction, April 4th, 2023, 12:45PM ET: A previous version of this article stated that the Peloton integration was exclusive to Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 watches because the company initially told The Verge it would be Samsung watches only. Peloton later clarified that its integration is available across Wear OS 3.