Apple Watch and WiFi

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by phirstube, May 12, 2015.

  1. phirstube macrumors regular

    phirstube

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    Aug 20, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    How does this work? If there is a protected wireless network, I do not see how it is possible for an apple watch to connect to it unless you authenticate the watch directly to the network by putting the password into the watch. Does the watch get its own IP address? If so the watch would have to have a MAC address. If you have MAC filtering enabled then I can't see how the watch would be allowed on a network. Is there any information about how the apple watch is connecting over wireless? Developers have you seen anything? I have seen reports of people that have left their phone at home but still get iMessages on their watch when they are away from the phone.
     
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #2
    The watch will connect directly to the wifi network your phone is connected to if you are out of bluetooth range.

    the only functions that work on wifi is iMessage and email.

    I have no idea how it "technically" is working.
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #3
    Simple answer is if there is any other security past wpa2 like Mac filtering (yes the watch has an address) then it'll fail to connect to that network.

    ----------

    Siri works too. That's assuming your watch can't find your phone. If there on the same wifi network the full functionality is available.
     
  4. phirstube thread starter macrumors regular

    phirstube

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    #4
    I don't understand how apple can just pass the watch the information to connect to a WAP, this seems like a security issue as well as a hack of how wireless networking is intended to work. So many potential points of failure.
     
  5. iggypod macrumors 6502a

    iggypod

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  6. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #6
    The security handshake between the watch and iPhone is over Bluetooth - that's how the wifi networks are populated on the watch.

    Secondly - there's multiple threads talking about wifi and the watch. You really should do a search before creating a new topic.
     
  7. phirstube, May 12, 2015
    Last edited: May 12, 2015

    phirstube thread starter macrumors regular

    phirstube

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    #7
    Thank you.

    There is much better info in the developer forums on apple.com.
     
  8. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2006
    #8
    The exception is if you have the ability to enroll your MAC address into the system. At my work, they have a self-registration page where I can input the MAC address of my watch manually since I can't pull up the authentication page in a browser on the device itself. Now Messages, Mail, and Siri on my watch work anywhere on the campus even without my phone.
     
  9. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #9
    Hopefully you don't have any dead zones. If you lose all connectivity with the iPhone entirely, it appears you have to get back into bluetooth range for everything to work again (as it needs to do the security handshake over bluetooth).
     
  10. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    This does not seem to be the case. I can shut my iPhone off entirely and still use siri, messages, and mail.
     
  11. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #11
    Right, the apps that don't need the phone (they use the watch's own wifi stack), but then turn the iPhone back on, where it isn't in bluetooth range and see if you can receive a phone call on the watch.

    At least, the testing we did previously suggested this.
     
  12. Calismic macrumors member

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    Sep 20, 2014
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #12
    I've had both CNN and Facebook Messenger work when my phone is not in range. I still show up on the wifi network at work when I'm on the other side of the building.

     
  13. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #13
    That's not what we're saying. We're saying if your watch or iPhone loses all connectivity, then there isn't a secure handshake between them.

    You then need to get back into bluetooth range for the security to be re-established.
     
  14. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #14
    Correct. I was referring to auto enroll only
     
  15. thenumbersrbad macrumors 6502

    thenumbersrbad

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    Jul 9, 2008
    #15
    I'm confused by this.

    I was at home and turned my phone off and got the red disconnected symbol on my watch and couldn't do anything on my watch.

    Am I missing something? My watch also doesn't show up in airport utility.
     
  16. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #16
    The watch should still be able to use its standalone apps over wifi when out of range / iPhone is turned off.
     
  17. southflguy macrumors regular

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    Mar 17, 2012
    #17
    The Apple Watch cannot connect to Wireless N networks so if your network is "N only" the watch will not connect. It needs to be B and G compatible.


     
  18. Snowkarver macrumors member

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    Apr 20, 2015
    #18
    802.11b/g/n are all fine. The Watch can't use AC/5ghz.
     
  19. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #19
    Yes, the watch has its own MAC address and will be given its own IP address by the access point.

    Whether it authenticates on the access point (that is, can actually access the network and beyond) depends on the authentication mechanism. If it's just a password, then the Watch will secure that information from the iPhone via its Bluetooth umbilical. That process is transparent.

    What won't work are networks where a pop-up browser window occurs, requiring the user to accept terms of usage or enter a username/password/token (or hotel room, credit card, etc.). EDITORIAL: I hate those, especially when they pop-up every hour or two. But they're depressingly common, and universal some places such as Germany where every connection to the Internet must by law be tied to an identifiable individual.
     
  20. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #20
  21. Swiss-G macrumors 6502a

    Swiss-G

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    United Kingdom
    #21
    Common problem.

    The watch needs to be connected to a 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network. You can also try removing your iPhone from the network and then add it back in.
     
  22. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #22
    oh i understand what you're saying now. So i can make and receive calls and get notifications on my watch when i'm out of BT range, providing i don't disconnect from wifi. Once that connection is lost, only messages, siri, and mail will work?
     
  23. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #23
    Yep, you got it!

    Hmm. I wonder if enterprise mail will still work though (your work mail) - it may stop working too, as a security feature.
     
  24. Cory Bauer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #24
    On both my home and work network, the Watch would not use Wi-Fi at all for me until I forgot the network on the iPhone and reconnected, and even then only worked for that day.
     
  25. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #25
    Yep, that's a bug. Sometimes you have to make the iPhone un-remember the network and re-add it.

    Also, you can't have your 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks named the same SSID, this can confuse apple watch (and the profile on the iPhone could be the 5GHz one that the watch can't connect to).
     

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