Resolved Does the Apple Watch need wifi?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by ardchoille50, May 4, 2015.

  1. ardchoille50, May 4, 2015
    Last edited: May 22, 2015

    ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #1
    I've been reading about the Apple Watch. I don't know if I completely overlooked it, but I can't seem to find any documentation on this. Does the Apple Watch require Wi-Fi connection in order to function properly?

    I will be moving soon and will be without an Internet connection for a while. Will I be able to enjoy all of the features of the Apple Watch without having to use a Wi-Fi connection?
     
  2. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    Jun 2, 2010
    #2
    I do not have one but from what I understand it only needs bluetooth to pair with the phone. However, WiFI allows you to be further away from the phone beyond the bluetooth range. Hence if you are going to be without WIFI for a while then keep the phone and the watch not too far apart.
     
  3. j0han macrumors 6502

    j0han

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    Sweden
    #3

    Wasn't that just a media buzz that if use WiFi it you get longer range?
     
  4. Sirious macrumors 65816

    Sirious

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    #4
    To fully use Apple Watch, it must be connect to your iPhone via bluetooth. The iPhone has to be connected to 3G/4G or WiFi, or it won't give you any updates. There are a few apps that can be used without the iPhone in range (I don't remember them ATM).

    If you connect Apple Watch to your iPhone, and it isn't connected to any network, you'll just get some basic push notifications from Apps.

    You can not connect Apple Watch to WiFi separately from your iPhone. It get's all it's data (notifications, app updates etc..) over WiFi or 4G, via a bluetooth connection to your iPhone.
     
  5. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #5
    Sigh. This is wrong. I'm going to make it my own personal mission to stamp this out :)

    The Watch can/will connect directly to wifi. There are a number of threads about it. Here is one from a few days ago: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1873536&highlight=wifi (warning, it is long and has some misinformation in it as well)

    The Watch will take your wifi credentials from your iPhone and attempt to connect to the same wifi network your phone is on. If it is successful then you can get out of bluetooth range of your phone and EVERYTHING will continue to work (including calling, messaging and Apps).

    You can even turn your phone OFF and then your Watch will continue to be able to use wifi directly for some things (iMessages, email, Siri)... Without needing your phone at all.

    That said, Wifi is not "required" for the Apple Watch to work. It can do everying that is necessary by communicating directly with your iPhone (note: it may actually be using Wifi-direct to communicate with your iPhone in addition to bluetooth. It's hard to say).
     
  6. NEvolution macrumors regular

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    May 2, 2010
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    Hong Kong
    #6
    Sorry to burst your bubble.

    [​IMG]
    https://help.apple.com/watch/#/apd0443fb403
     
  7. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #7
    No bubble burst. That matches what I said. Without an iPhone you can do those things.

    What it doesn't mention is that WITH an iPhone on the same network you can also do more.

    Go read the thread I posted. People report that EVERYTHING still works over Wifi when the phone and watch are on the same network... even when they turn Bluetooth off on their phone and/or go WAY out of range of their phones.

    I'll be receiving my watch tomorrow and I'll definitely be testing this all first hand.
     
  8. Sirious macrumors 65816

    Sirious

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    #8
    Thanks for the clarification. Really appreciate it.
     
  9. jannette macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I can make calls, use Siri and iMessage over Wifi, but I have never received an email notification.
     
  10. ardchoille50 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #10
    How will will the Apple Watch work without a Wi-Fi connection? That's what I need to know.
     
  11. rihia macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2014
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    Brisbane, Australia
    #11
    Not sure if you bothered to read everyone's post but it simply states that wifi will extend the range between the watch and your iPhone and give you messaging functions without the phone connected. What more are you needing to know?
     
  12. BrettDS macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2012
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    Orlando
    #12
    It will work just fine. The apple watch is designed to work through a bluetooth connection to the phone. If you are on a wifi network then the watch will gain some functionality if your phone is not present or connected, but as long as it's connected to the phone through bluetooth then it will be 100% functional. (Even if you have wifi at home, think about how many times you don't have wifi when you leave the house... the watch continues to function without a problem)

    ----------

    And wow... I totally was not expecting this, but it does appear to work. I just shut off bluetooth on my phone and in my quick testing I was able to start and use a third party app, update a third party glance screen, get imessage notifications and send new imessages, and get get new email notifications and other notifications. I certainly didn't test everything but so far I haven't found anything that doesn't work while the phone and watch are on the same wifi network. That's really cool.

    ----------

    Well, I take that back. I did find one thing that doesn't work... handoff. If you get a notification from an app (even if the app doesn't have a watch app) then while the notification is open on your watch the handoff icon for that app will appear on the lockscreen of your phone and you can swipe up and go right into the app. Some other watch apps support handoff within the app as well (the CNN app shows snipits of news articles, but gives you the option to use handoff to open the CNN app on your phone and read the whole article). But that doesn't work when bluetooth is disabled on the phone.

    Although, frankly, I'm not sure that this is really a problem at all. I don't think people will be regularly disabling bluetooth, so the time you would be relying on wifi is when your watch and phone are out of bluetooth range... and in that case handoff would be useless anyway since your phone wouldn't be there to handoff to.
     
  13. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    #13

    Awesome! Thanks for the info!
     
  14. rweed macrumors newbie

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #14
    Be aware that, currently, the router you're connecting to must have 'SSID broadcast' enabled or the watch won't connect to it.
     
  15. Simbal macrumors newbie

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    Apr 21, 2015
    #15

    I have my watch and this guy is correct!
     
  16. ardchoille50 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #16
    Yes, I read them, but most of them were describing the advantages of wifi and wifi is the one thing I lack. Perhaps I got mixed up in all of the posts.
     
  17. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Cool: thanks for the confirmation!

    I've obviously been spending a little bit of time on these forums ;-). It can be difficult to navigate through all of the information and misinformation...

    Can't wait to get my watch tomorrow and try this stuff for myself!

    Derek
     
  18. amro macrumors 6502

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #18
    I believe there are issues with either Wireless AC and/or 5GHz. I didn't have a WiFi connection with the watch until I read this post: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1877434

    As you can see from my reply, once I ran the steps that were posted, everything worked great.
     
  19. Sludgepond macrumors regular

    Sludgepond

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    Oct 25, 2014
    #19
    So does the watch clone the iPhone MAC address? I have a MAC address filter set up on my wireless router and I never added my watch to the list. I thought that the watch and phone talk to each other using Wifi between the two devices only. Am I wrong about this? Seems I get unrealistic range if it's using bluetooth only when I'm not on a wifi network.
    I noticed that the watch does have a Wifi MAC address. I wonder if I should add it to my router filter?
     
  20. amro macrumors 6502

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #20
    I don't think so. My router table shows a uniqe MAC address, and my watch has it's own IP address. Actually, if you're connected to the phone via bluetooth, you may not see it in the router table. On my FiOS router, the icon is greyed out when the watch is connected to the iPhone via bluetooth. When I turn off bluetooth, the router network status shows my watch as blue (active?).
     
  21. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    Jun 2, 2010
    #21
    Go back and read my post. Most of these responses have got into an argument about using wifi. The question you asked was answered by my original response. Your watch will work fine for the period you do not have WIFI. The watch will pair with the phone on Bluetooth and it will use the 3g or 4G connection on the phone to perform all communication functions.
     

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