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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple-Watch-Sport-Blue-250x250.jpeg
A collection of major tech blogs yesterday published their in-depth reviews for the Apple Watch, one of which was Yahoo! Tech's David Pogue, whose opinion fell in line with most other sites, describing the Apple Watch as "light-years better" than any other smartwatch, but "you don't need one."

When discussing the Watch's tethering to an iPhone, Pogue reveals a few pieces of information about the Watch that Apple has yet to comment on in any promotional material for the wrist-worn device, mostly regarding some cellular-related functionality sans iPhone.
And here's a surprising feature that Apple hasn't said anything about previously: When the watch is in a known Wi-Fi hotspot, the watch can perform the most essential online functions even when your phone is completely dead, turned off, or absent. It can query Siri, for example, send and receive texts, and send/receive drawings and tap patterns to other watch owners. That's impressive.
According to Pogue's week-long experience with the Apple Watch, even with the iPhone dead or turned off, his Watch could still perform these basic iPhone-reliant functions like sending and receiving texts and drawings. He never mentions actual phone calls, which are undoubtedly still reliant on full use of an iPhone.

Pogue also mentions the Watch's ability to communicate with an iPhone over both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, meaning the two devices can communicate indefinitely as long as they stay under the same Wi-Fi connection even when they're out of Bluetooth range, a previously known but still notable aspect of the Watch.

The Wall Street Journal's Apple Watch review makes a passing reference to Pogue's claim, though providing fewer details than Yahoo! Tech's piece. "The watch does work (a little) away from the phone," The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey A. Fowler said. "When you're around a known Wi-Fi network, the watch can tap directly into it."

Stay up to date on the latest Apple Watch news, from estimated shipping and delivery dates to the newest reviews, before Apple's first wearable device goes up for pre-order tonight at 12:01 AM Pacific Time.

Article Link: Apple Watch Can Use Known Wi-Fi Networks for Limited Functions Even When iPhone Is Off
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,051
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Vilano Beach, FL
That's a pretty notable discovery! Up to this point, I think it's been assumed the Watch without the iPhone tethered had zero network capabilities[?]

How can it send/receive SMS if the phone is dead?

I'm assuming since the article said texts, and talked WiFi, they would be through the Messages app (i.e., to/from other iOS/OSX clients).

Side note: I think the model pictured is the exact one I'm buying :)
 

BlueMoon63

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2015
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955
"It can query Siri, for example, send and receive texts, and send/receive drawings and tap patterns to other watch owners. That’s impressive."

That is awesome. Don't need my phone at all to send texts and respond to people. The #1 thing I do with my iPhone is texting. I am very impressed since I have about 100 known wi-fi networks on my IPhone.

I wonder if you will eventually be able to make phone calls with just the watch since you can make calls with Wi-Fi/VoIP? Maybe already works with Sprint and now T-Mobile which allow Phone calls over Wi-Fi?

Shouldn't take long though before people start bashing this nice additional information.
 
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thekeyring

macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
3,457
2,092
London
Oh man I'm nervous/excited about the Watch.

I agree with many of the criticisms and yet I can't believe Steve Jobs would have been the only one to stop this product. (Which people imply.) If it's no good, someone else at Apple in the last three years would have gone "This isn't working, we need to scrap it."

Or even, had they any doubts, launched it with more caution.

More "We've got something new to show you," rather than "This is our brand new product which will change what people expect from it's category. With every revolutionary new product a breakthrough in UI is required."

They must genuinely believe it's a great product, worthy of the hype.

The iPad sold 3,000,000 in the first 80 days; the iPhone 700,000 on opening weekend; the iPod 600,000 in about two months. I can't wait to see how the Watch compares...
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,769
1,035
Using both bluetooth and wifi is a really elegant solution.

BT 4.0 LE when in range, and then WiFi when bluetooth is out of range. Bluetooth's limited range is something I've really noticed with my pebble.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,051
12,450
Vilano Beach, FL
I wonder if you will eventually be able to make phone calls with just the watch since you can make calls with Wi-Fi/VoIP? Maybe already works with Sprint and now T-Mobile which allow Phone calls over Wi-Fi?

I put money it being able to make a FaceTime Audio call, if not now, in the very near future. If it has WiFi based messaging, WiFi based VOIP services seem like a logical step :)

That of course that would limit it to other iOS/OSX recipients, but in my case, that covers 98% of my friends/family/peers :D
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
article said:
He never mentions actual phone calls, which are undoubtedly still reliant on full use of an iPhone.
Given T-mobile and Sprint recently announced enabling wi-fi phone calls, relying on data usage for revenue rather than metered voice phone usage, it appears about 8 years after the release of the iPhone, we may see what was possible all along. IP phone calls on any IP channel, cellular, bluetooth, wifi, wired.

Rocketman
 

Planey28

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2010
459
537
Birmingham, UK
Given T-mobile and Sprint recently announced enabling wi-fi phone calls, relying on data usage for revenue rather than metered voice phone usage, it appears about 8 years after the release of the iPhone, we may see what was possible all along. IP phone calls on any IP channel, bluetooth, wifi, wired.

Rocketman

Wifi calling still uses your voice minutes, it just routes the call over wifi instead of the cell network.
 

neuropsychguy

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
1,562
2,934
I put money it being able to make a FaceTime Audio call, if not now, in the very near future. If it has WiFi based messaging, WiFi based VOIP services seem like a logical step :)

That of course that would limit it to other iOS/OSX recipients, but in my case, that covers 98% of my friends/family/peers :D

The watch will turn into something very useful over time. It certainly has some novelty features that will turn out to not be useful in the long run but with software updates and then gen 2 models, we'll start to see some really useful features.

People need to remember that the iPhone, while revolutionary, was very limited at launch. The Apple Watch is limited now (but Apple opening it up to all developers will quickly close gaps) but has terrific potential.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,051
12,450
Vilano Beach, FL
I was sending SMS the other day from my mac at my office when my phone was at home, not sure how it works exactly

If it's to an iOS or OSX recipient, that's it's not really SMS, it's Messages which is an IP based service (that's when you see the "blue bubble"), and can be a phone number (for identity), email address, etc.

If the recipient is a non-Apple device, say a Samsung phone, then it can only receive actual cellular based SMS, so that's when you have to have your iPhone on the same network, using Yosemite, and your iPhone acts as a "cellular router". Mac -> [WiFi] -> iPhone -> Cell network

:)
 
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