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Family Setup - SMS Forwarding

slippy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2005
38
7
I’m thinking about getting my son an Apple Watch SE cellular for his 9th birthday. He doesn’t have a cell phone, but he does have an iPad. He’ll use his own iCloud account on both devices, so I know iMessage will work seamlessly on both. What about SMS? With the watch having SMS capability and it’s own phone number, can it be setup like an iPhone to forward those text messages to his iPad?
 

Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
942
325
I’m thinking about getting my son an Apple Watch SE cellular for his 9th birthday. He doesn’t have a cell phone, but he does have an iPad. He’ll use his own iCloud account on both devices, so I know iMessage will work seamlessly on both. What about SMS? With the watch having SMS capability and it’s own phone number, can it be setup like an iPhone to forward those text messages to his iPad?
The watch doesn't have SMS capability on its own, Unless something has changed and I haven't found any indication of that. The support articles says imessages.
 
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slippy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2005
38
7
I suspect you’re both right. I’ve found a Reddit post where the user says his iPhone must be turned on in order for his daughters watch to be able to send/receive sms. If true, it appears the watch itself still cannot natively handle that task.
 
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slippy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2005
38
7
I just wanted to leave a follow up. I did pickup a Watch SE Cellular and activated it on Verizon during the family setup process. Setup was easy and I think my son will be very impressed with this gift.

As for SMS, the watch can text an android without issue. Contrary to what I saw on Reddit, it doesn’t matter if my iPhone is on or off for SMS to function on this watch. No text forwarding options exist that I could find to allow his iPad to send/receive SMS however.
 
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Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
942
325
I just wanted to leave a follow up. I did pickup a Watch SE Cellular and activated it on Verizon during the family setup process. Setup was easy and I think my son will be very impressed with this gift.

As for SMS, the watch can text an android without issue. Contrary to what I saw on Reddit, it doesn’t matter if my iPhone is on or off for SMS to function on this watch. No text forwarding options exist that I could find to allow his iPad to send/receive SMS however.
What number is the sms send from on the Android? Have you tried doing it with your phone off?

Great news if it works, but I am still not convinced, it isn't relayed through your phone.
 
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slippy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2005
38
7
It comes from the phone number of the watch, which has its own number on my plan. I did test with my iPhone powered down and it could still send/receive SMS. I tried the watch itself both on WiFi and cellular with success. I can’t say I know exactly what’s happening on the backend, maybe some WiFi calling trickery? At any rate, I’m impressed with how well it works.
 
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Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
942
325
It comes from the phone number of the watch, which has its own number on my plan. I did test with my iPhone powered down and it could still send/receive SMS. I tried the watch itself both on WiFi and cellular with success. I can’t say I know exactly what’s happening on the backend, maybe some WiFi calling trickery? At any rate, I’m impressed with how well it works.
Cool. I now my watch has it's own number, but my service provider is hiding it.
 
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slippy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2005
38
7
Yesterday my son let me know he had a couple conversations in the messages app on his iPad he couldn't see. Communications limits prevented him from seeing them and I just told him they are probably spam and I would take care of them later. When I looked into it, one conversation was the one I had with my dad's Android device and the other was for Mike letting him know his massage was rescheduled. Both were to the watch phone number. I had deleted the conversation with my dad from the watch itself and the message for Mike was delivered to his iPad with the watch powered off.

To test again, I sent a message from Google Voice to the watch number but it only went to his watch again. I'll be curious to see if it eventually shows up on his iPad. The only thing I can think of is messages in iCloud is syncing them, but at a very delayed fashion. He hasn't opened the watch yet and it's been powered off since I last tested this awaiting his birthday in a couple days. I'll be curious to see how this plays out when the watch is powered on and he's wearing it.
 
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