Can you pair multiple Apple Watches to one iPhone?

metrowarrior79

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
28
0
Searched and couldn't find an answer to this. I'm asking because I was considering getting an Apple Watch Sport for wearing while at work and then having a SS Apple Watch for nights and weekends. Is it possible to be able to pair 2 watches to one phone? Thanks for your help.
 

Appl3FTW

macrumors 603
Nov 15, 2012
5,392
1,024
I'm guessing there should be a way to disable the ones you don't use. But my question is the other way around, can you pair the watch to multiple iPhones?
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,093
6,472
The Black Country, England
My guess would be yes, but not at the same time.
Yes, this article on aBlogtoWatch confirms you can only pair one watch at a time.

Apple also seemed to miss an opportunity off the bat of making it easy for people to purchase several Apple Watches and use them together for one synchronized experience. Each Apple Watch is paired to your iPhone (which is where you download apps and control some of its functions). Each iPhone can only be paired with one Apple Watch at a time - which means you can't have an Apple Watch Sport for exercise and an Apple Watch on a steel bracelet for more formal attire. Apple says people should just swap out straps, but I think they are missing the real value of having a diverse set of fashionable products. Anyone who loves watches doesn't just have one, and I truly hope that in due course, Apple makes it comfortable to own more than one Apple Watch without having to own more than one iPhone.
http://www.ablogtowatch.com/apple-trained-you-forget-watches-apple-teach-love-apple-watch/
 

Mascots

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
1,608
1,303
Apple has confirmed that only one watch may be paired at a single time in the developer forums as well.

Edit: and the pairing and unpairing is a setup process, not a simple add or remove like other BT devices.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,282
4,265
Atlanta
Yes, this article on aBlogtoWatch confirms you can only pair one watch at a time.



http://www.ablogtowatch.com/apple-trained-you-forget-watches-apple-teach-love-apple-watch/
The article makes it sound like a handicap. The picture of the Companion App I posted makes it look like a 10 seconds, 4 or 5 screen taps to pair anther :apple:Watch. Having all your :apple:Watches ready to pair in the Companion App and just select seems like the way it should be and looks super easy.

Can't see any advantages to having more than 1 paired at a time. I would likely cause problems (like conflicting Health/Fitness info).
 

metrowarrior79

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
28
0
Thanks for your replies. I'm not looking to have both paired at the same time, just would like to be able to swap when needed. Hopefully it won't be a lengthy set up process each time you switch. I'm hoping it will be similar to bluetooth devices after the initial pairing and not a lengthy setup each time I want to switch.
 

wethackrey

macrumors 6502
Feb 27, 2007
259
17
Redondo Beach, California
Sort of...

Searched and couldn't find an answer to this. I'm asking because I was considering getting an Apple Watch Sport for wearing while at work and then having a SS Apple Watch for nights and weekends. Is it possible to be able to pair 2 watches to one phone? Thanks for your help.
My second Apple watch landed today so I spent some time figuring out the answer to this. Can you use two Watches with a single iPhone? Yes. But it isn't very seamless and takes far more time than it should. Here's the deal:
1) The system architecture is definitely 1 Watch <-> 1 iPhone. An iPhone will pair to a single Watch and vice versa.

2) To use a second Watch, you must first unpair the first Watch using the iPhone Watch app. All is not lost. The iPhone will make of backup of MOST settings and data.

3) Pair the second Watch using the Watch app. You'll be asked if you want to configure as a new Watch or restore from backup.

4) If you restore the second Watch from the backup of the first, you get all apps and data transferred, with the exception of security information. You'll need to re-enter the following information in the second Watch:
a) passcode
b) password for the associated Apple ID (It "remembers" the ID itself)
c) whether you want to unlock the Watch with your iPhone
d) whether to enable location services

5) The restore takes some time. I went through three swaps from one Watch to the other. It took 12-15 minutes to enter the new security information and restore the Watch from the backup image via bluetooth.
6) The iPhone Watch app saves at least two backup images. You'll need to select the image to restore from. Usually that would be the latest.

Clearly this is a lot more hassle than simply changing which Watch you want to wear at the moment. If you want to leave your dress Watch on the charger and wear your Sport Watch while you work out, you'll need to allocate fifteen minutes to make the change. And another fifteen to change back. I thought it was a hassle swapping watches in my watch winder. This is a whole different thing.

It sure seems like Apple, uncharacteristically, didn't think this through. I'd submit that most early adopters of the Apple Watch are "watch people"... that is, people who are used to wearing watches and probably own more than one. Their mindset (and the mindset Apple seems to promoting with this product, is the Watch as a fashion statement... They have a ton of designs and colors.

The software, at this point anyway, does not support the notion of a wearable device you might buy several versions of to use in a variety of settings.

The Watch OS (wOS?) 1.01 update is out now. My next step is to do the update on the connected Watch, then swap them again to make certain that you can restore a 1.0 Watch from a 1.01 backup image. Wish me luck.
 
Last edited:

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,195
922
My second Apple watch landed today so I spent some time figuring out the answer to this. Can you use two Watches with a single iPhone? Yes. But it isn't very seamless and takes far more time than it should. Here's the deal:
1) The system architecture is definitely 1 Watch <-> 1 iPhone. An iPhone will pair to a single Watch and vice versa.

2) To use a second Watch, you must first unpair the first Watch using the iPhone Watch app. All is not lost. The iPhone will make of backup of MOST settings and data.

3) Pair the second Watch using the Watch app. You'll be asked if you want to configure as a new Watch or restore from backup.

4) If you restore the second Watch from the backup of the first, you get all apps and data transferred, with the exception of security information. You'll need to re-enter the following information in the second Watch:
a) passcode
b) password for the associated Apple ID (It "remembers" the ID itself)
c) whether you want to unlock the Watch with your iPhone
d) whether to enable location services

5) The restore takes some time. I went through three swaps from one Watch to the other. It took 12-15 minutes to enter the new security information and restore the Watch from the backup image via bluetooth.
6) The iPhone Watch app saves at least two backup images. You'll need to select the image to restore from. Usually that would be the latest.

Clearly this is a lot more hassle than simply changing which Watch you want to wear at the moment. If you want to leave your dress Watch on the charger and wear your Sport Watch while you work out, you'll need to allocate fifteen minutes to make the change. And another fifteen to change back. I thought it was a hassle swapping watches in my watch winder. This is a whole different thing.

It sure seems like Apple, uncharacteristically, didn't think this through. I'd submit that most early adopters of the Apple Watch are "watch people"... that is, people who are used to wearing watches and probably own more than one. Their mindset (and the mindset Apple seems to promoting with this product, is the Watch as a fashion statement... They have a ton of designs and colors.

The software, at this point anyway, does not support the notion of a wearable device you might buy several versions of to use in a variety of settings.

The Watch OS (wOS?) 1.01 update is out now. My next step is to do the update on the connected Watch, then swap them again to make certain that you can restore a 1.0 Watch from a 1.01 backup image. Wish me luck.
If you use Apple Pay, you will also have to re-add your cards every time you re-pair as they are removed when you un-pair.

FWIW, the one time I unpaired my watch, it crashed in the process, so that risk is out there too. As it only takes me a handful of seconds to change my band, that's the route I'm going.
 

wethackrey

macrumors 6502
Feb 27, 2007
259
17
Redondo Beach, California
If you use Apple Pay, you will also have to re-add your cards every time you re-pair as they are removed when you un-pair.

FWIW, the one time I unpaired my watch, it crashed in the process, so that risk is out there too. As it only takes me a handful of seconds to change my band, that's the route I'm going.
Yes... I discovered that special feature this morning when none of my cards were in the Watch. That's a deal breaker. It adds another half hour or more to the process of switching watches. I had to rescan five of the six cards I have on my Watch. For some reason, the Watch app can't retrieve the card information from PassBook on the iPhone. To make matters worse, one of my banks requires a call to customer service with the associated hoop hopping/transaction verification in order to activate their card on the Watch. Which would have been hassle enough, but it took two calls to make it actually happen.

So my answer to the OP's question needs to be revised from "Sort of" to "Not really". You can do it but it is a GIANT pain in the butt. I'm going to take your advise and order a sports band for my stainless Watch,
 

r0k

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,610
73
Detroit
My SG watch with BSB arrived yesterday. I tried to pair it and it didn't pair so I went to manual pairing. It appeared to pair but when I opened the AW app on my iPhone and picked MyWatch, it showed Pair a New Apple Watch so I picked it and it immediately, without asking for confirmation, proceeded to unpair my watch and offer me a chance to pair it again. Not. Fun. At. All. Considering that pairing takes about half an hour not including the hassle of dealing with my bank to pair credit cards again, I think Apple will be tweaking the AW app on iOS to make it less easy to fall into the pair all over again tar pit. After 2 pairing rituals on my first day of ownership, I decided I don't need no stinking AW software update yet. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow...
 

rhsmd1

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2015
94
2
Central Florida
Yes... I discovered that special feature this morning when none of my cards were in the Watch. That's a deal breaker. It adds another half hour or more to the process of switching watches. I had to rescan five of the six cards I have on my Watch. For some reason, the Watch app can't retrieve the card information from PassBook on the iPhone. To make matters worse, one of my banks requires a call to customer service with the associated hoop hopping/transaction verification in order to activate their card on the Watch. Which would have been hassle enough, but it took two calls to make it actually happen.

So my answer to the OP's question needs to be revised from "Sort of" to "Not really". You can do it but it is a GIANT pain in the butt. I'm going to take your advise and order a sports band for my stainless Watch,
yep.
and remember that is you were to restore your iphone for some reason, your apple pay cards on the phone would wipe out as well.
 

xthine

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2015
236
181
Sedona
I used to have the Sport watch along with my SS. I thought I could swap watches easily but it's a very tedious process. The whole pair unpair then have to manually add a card then verify in Apple Pay. Sold my Sport and now just using my SS. It's easier to swap bands than AWs.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
Clearly this is a lot more hassle than simply changing which Watch you want to wear at the moment. If you want to leave your dress Watch on the charger and wear your Sport Watch while you work out, you'll need to allocate fifteen minutes to make the change. And another fifteen to change back. I thought it was a hassle swapping watches in my watch winder. This is a whole different thing.

It sure seems like Apple, uncharacteristically, didn't think this through. I'd submit that most early adopters of the Apple Watch are "watch people"... that is, people who are used to wearing watches and probably own more than one. Their mindset (and the mindset Apple seems to promoting with this product, is the Watch as a fashion statement... They have a ton of designs and colors.

The software, at this point anyway, does not support the notion of a wearable device you might buy several versions of to use in a variety of settings.
You are spot on here, and I bet you by version 2 Apple will support pairing multiple watches -- that is after all going to be a big selling point in maximizing their sales. Many people only wear gold, or only silver. Some wear both and need a watch to coordinate with each outfit. Then there's the Sport Watch. While changing bands is not a big deal, it's much easier to just throw on the watch sitting in the charger with the band you want to wear. And it's not just color, having a 38mm for formal affairs looks dressier than a 42mm, regardless of your wrist size.

This update might come as early as December when Apple is expected to release new case materials and watch bands. This should fuel a number of new sales to existing customers, as holiday gifts can be made of an additional watch for dedicated purposes. And it might fuel new customers to buy two watches at once. I'm expecting a $1-2K gold clad option in particular. Titanium would be nice, as well as an anodized gold Sport.
 

jtrue28

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2015
778
354
Lexington, KY
Thanks for your replies. I'm not looking to have both paired at the same time, just would like to be able to swap when needed. Hopefully it won't be a lengthy set up process each time you switch. I'm hoping it will be similar to bluetooth devices after the initial pairing and not a lengthy setup each time I want to switch.
It sounds like you're going to have to set it up, each and every time. Which by your statement is completely not what you are expecting.

They sell individual bands where you can swap them in and out.
 

Jerry Raia

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2014
168
75
I think eventually the ability to easily switch will come. Remember the first iPhone didn't have cut & paste :)
 
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