Alarm or notification for losing phone conact?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Kyle76, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Kyle76 macrumors regular

    Kyle76

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #1
    Is there any way to get the watch to notify you when you get out of range of the paired phone? This might be helpful for those times that you walk out without your phone but don't discover it until you're a mile down the road.
     
  2. Peter K. macrumors 6502a

    Peter K.

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    Nov 6, 2012
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    #2
    An app named Lookout does this.
     
  3. Kyle76 thread starter macrumors regular

    Kyle76

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    Jan 22, 2017
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    #3
    I see that. Unfortunately, it gets poor reviews for that function. Too bad.
     
  4. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #4
    For such a function to work really well, it'd have to tell you where your phone is -- which means it would be best for the watch to know where the watch is, too, if that makes sense. Unless it stores the last known location of the phone -- which is really just a guess, since your phone could be moved by someone else -- the watch should tell you how far away the phone is and how to get there. But, it can't (a) load a map and navigation without a cellular signal, and (b) communicate with your phone anyway.

    I also would find myself turning it off all the time at home because, when I leave my apartment to go check mail or do laundry, I go out of range of the phone. Having the watch ping me every time would be more annoying than helpful. I'll take the little red disconnect indicator instead of an alert.
     
  5. CaptMarvel macrumors 65816

    CaptMarvel

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    Sep 20, 2014
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    North Carolina
    #5
    There's an on screen icon (red iPhone with jagged line through) that shows in the place the red notification dot normally would when you're out of range of your paired iPhone. I think an accompanying vibration or or full fledged alert/notification would be a great addition.
     
  6. Kyle76 thread starter macrumors regular

    Kyle76

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    Jan 22, 2017
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    North Carolina
    #6
    I agree, CaptMarvel, along with the ability to easily disable the notifications when they're not needed. I don't want the watch to find my phone, or even tell me where it is. Just let me know if I've mistakenly left it behind.
     
  7. CaptMarvel macrumors 65816

    CaptMarvel

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    Sep 20, 2014
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    #7
    When you say disable notifications...what do you mean? About an out of range iPhone or general notifications altogether?
     
  8. Kyle76 thread starter macrumors regular

    Kyle76

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    #8
    About the phone connection. There are times when you might not want it on.
     
  9. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #9
    So, maybe, if you switch the phone to Airplane Mode, it should inform the watch that you did it on purpose (or something).. but anyone can switch a phone to Airplane Mode from the lock screen, too. So how should it verify that you flipped the switch yourself...

    We're starting to add complexity here, and for not a whole lot of benefit over the existing disconnection icon.
     
  10. Kyle76 thread starter macrumors regular

    Kyle76

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
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    North Carolina
    #10
    It couldn't be simpler. The watch loses connection with the phone (the red indicator comes on), you get a ding and/or vibration. If you don't want this function active, you turn it off. How is that complicated?
     
  11. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #11
    Would a user want it to always be set to notify with a ping/tap? Or would they want to easily change the setting? Should it only be buried in Settings or should a toggle also be added to Control Center?

    Should it be automatic so that it's active when you're at home (helping you to not forget the phone inside the house)? Or only when you're out-and-about (so you don't leave the phone at a restaurant)?

    I've left home without my phone before. Fortunately, I hadn't even started my car before I looked at my watch and saw the little red icon. If I wanted to be informed sooner, maybe I could set an "effective radius" or something -- but how would I adjust such a setting? Can I set it to only trigger when I've walked out of the building versus when I go to the lobby for my mail? But sometimes my car is parked right outside my window within BT/Wifi range.

    All you're asking for -- a ping and a tap -- are just one small step above what the watch does now, but the opportunity to add ever-more-complex interactions isn't an opportunity worth taking.

    Maybe Apple would add a simple version later, like they've added Theater Mode in the latest betas. I could imagine it would come with some "fine print", though, like "Will only work when you've stepped out of Bluetooth range even though your watch and phone are still connected via Wifi," etc.
     
  12. Kyle76 thread starter macrumors regular

    Kyle76

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  13. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    #13
    Took you long enough to see it my way. ;) (j/k)
     
  14. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aridzona
    #14
    I was really surprised this wasn't an AW standard feature. I had it on my <$75 Martian Notifier and it was great. Even my Garmin Vivoactive did "something" when out of range (beyond having to look at the watch). Both of those watches stopped me from leaving my iPhone on several occasions. At home it was just as I was pulling out of the driveway.

    Now that I have an Apple Watch again I will try Lookout.



    Mike
    --- Post Merged, Feb 10, 2017 ---
    It doesn't make sense to me. If you are notified by your AW when your phone is no longer connected the phone will not be very far away. I have had this functionality on other watches and every time it kicked in I knew where my watch was.



    Mike
     
  15. Thor774 macrumors regular

    Thor774

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #15
    Old thread, but I just had to post.
    It is unbelievable how some people try so hard to make look a simple request like this one like something complex and non useful.
    This is a function that has been offered by many smartwatches for a long time already, it is something seen as useful by many users and can be easily disabled if you do not want it (like many other options in a gadget like the AW). What is the problem with this?
    I, like many other users have sent feedback to Apple to include this on the AW software. We just have to cross fingers to see when they are deciding to listen.
     
  16. Kyle76 thread starter macrumors regular

    Kyle76

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    North Carolina
    #16
    Seriously! How ridiculous are some of these replies? Just turn it off if you don't like it. It's not rocket surgery.
     
  17. alfonsouj macrumors newbie

    alfonsouj

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    Nov 24, 2017
    Location:
    Bolivia
    #17
    It used to notify me, and I could set how sensitive it was, but it seems they've removed the feature. Unless you now have to pay for it, but I can't see the option available anywhere. Sucks
     
  18. AndyXT macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #18
    Came here cause this feature was exactly what I was looking for. I am always leaving my phone in truck. I’ll usually pull it out in truck for different reasons set on console which is all black and then have to go back to retrieve it from the house or restaurant. Wouldn’t it be nice if as I was walking away my watch alerted me to let me know I had left it behind?? I could see scenarios at work where this would be handy.
     
  19. Thor774 macrumors regular

    Thor774

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #19
    I have not found any app that can do this now. They removed the feature from the Lookout app because the function did not work well, and I agree it was badly implemented. This has to come from Apple if it is going to work ok as the function is deeply rooted inside the OS.
     
  20. SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #20
    Agree, this would be great. Get a free Tile Tracker functionality for your phone basically.

    It could also work so that your Phone tells you that the watch disconnected in case that you take it off then forget to put it back on.
     
  21. fmillion, Mar 23, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018

    fmillion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #21
    This is so completely NOT complicated. Apple, this one's free. Public domain. Hell, patent it and take credit for all I care.

    Just have a simple unobtrusive but distinct haptic pattern when the phone goes out of range. Optionally, a unique sound effect. If you happen to lift your wrist at that time, a simple "Phone out of range" screen shows for a few seconds, then goes away. The red icon stays.

    To prevent spurious alerts, wait for a certain time period before alerting that the device is out of range. Say one minute. Or even better, make it configurable. (Yes Apple, people actually do like to configure things to their own preferences sometimes.)

    You can argue about whether you should be alerted to airplane mode and what to do about people who know they're leaving their phone behind (e.g. in an apartment building, to get the laundry). But here's my argument. As long as the wrist notification is unobtrusive but also distinct, you will naturally learn to ignore it when you "know what's going on", but still notice it when you don't expect it.

    Take a home security system for example. Each time you open your door, your system may announce "Front door open." But it was you who opened the door. Over time you just naturally tune out this "notification". But if you were sitting in your living room and you heard "Front door open" and you weren't expecting someone, you'd immediately notice it and jump to attention. This is exactly how it would work with a watch notification. If you know you're leaving your phone - going to the laundry room, going out to the garage, whatever - you'll just naturally ignore the (remember, unobtrusive) notification. But if you hop in the car or on your bike and get a block away from your house and the notification pings, you'll quickly check and notice you forgot your phone before it's too late to go back! Not hard, is it?

    Even if you're in public and someone steals your phone, you're not expecting to separate from your phone at that point, so a notification for it being out of range, or Airplane mode being turned on, or whatever, will definitely get your attention. Not to mention, if criminals knew that plenty of people have devices attached to their wrists that will quickly notify them if their phone goes missing, maybe fewer criminals will even bother to try to take an iPhone...?

    (Bonus points if Apple implements a "Lock my phone" button right on that notification for LTE watch users or watch users in range of a known Wi-fi...)

    I imagine the reason Lookout couldn't really make this a good experience is because of the limits Apple puts on apps. Lookout couldn't do a custom vibration. I don't even think apps can do a custom sound. The notifications stay in the notification center and have to be dismissed. But none of this is Lookout's fault; they're working within the constraints Apple sets. That means the only company that can do this with a good UX is Apple.

    Why is it so hard to implement this? Honestly, I paid $549 for a fancy watch that can't even alert me that I'm about to leave my phone behind. I don't drive, so leaving my phone behind easily entails a pricey cab or Uber trip (round trip!).
     
  22. michaelb5000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #22
    I agree and have posted this here several times since the apple watch first came out. This is an obvious feature and it is baffling that Apple hasn't implemented this.

    However, after demoing Lookout through all its variations of this feature, my guess is that we would all want some sort of countdown timer. so that the watch counts down 30 secs before notifying, or some other period of time, to avoid going off seemingly randomly when there is momentary separation. So this may be the holdup. Plus there is the difference between leaving the phone behind on a known wifi network vs separating via Bluetooth. So lookout would only look at BT and would go off all the time at home. Lookout would also go off just sitting next to the phone at my desk. I would want to geofence some locations and/or a wifi network (so it would use BT at starbucks but only alarm at home if the watch left the wifi network).

    With my LTE watch, I also don't know why the phone can't send a notification to the watch now, and the processing about separation and triggering the alarm could happen on the phone. I think that was part of the holdup/problem for Lookout and for this feature: the watch lacked the ability to do this processing on its own (so lookout triggered before separation, not after). So maybe there are reasons this feature ends up LTE only and something only for the future.

    So that all makes this more tricky (from an otherwise easy and obvious feature).
     

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