How can I force a cellular connection when Blueooth connection is bad?

sofakng

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 5, 2008
226
13
I have an Apple Watch (series 3) with cellular, an iPhone X, and a Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO access point.

If I leave my phone inside, and then connect to my air pods from the watch and go outside it might stream audio for a few minutes/seconds and then it will stop and restart, etc, etc.

I think the watch is struggling to stay connected to my iPhone (and my wifi) but it won't switch to cellular.

Does anybody else have this problem? I can turn off wifi on my watch, but I think it will still try to connect to the iPhone using Bluetooth which won't maintain a good signal either because the phone is inside the house.

Basically I just want to force the watch to use cellular because it's the only reliable signal when I go outside into the backyard, etc.
 

ReardenMetal

macrumors regular
May 1, 2015
236
98
Los Angeles
I have an Apple Watch (series 3) with cellular, an iPhone X, and a Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO access point.

If I leave my phone inside, and then connect to my air pods from the watch and go outside it might stream audio for a few minutes/seconds and then it will stop and restart, etc, etc.

I think the watch is struggling to stay connected to my iPhone (and my wifi) but it won't switch to cellular.

Does anybody else have this problem? I can turn off wifi on my watch, but I think it will still try to connect to the iPhone using Bluetooth which won't maintain a good signal either because the phone is inside the house.

Basically I just want to force the watch to use cellular because it's the only reliable signal when I go outside into the backyard, etc.
I have a similar issue with my Series 3 LTE and iPhone 7 Plus, but my problem is thick walls, nooks and crannies.
I haven’t been able to figure this out either.

Solution 1: Upgrade all devices to Bluetooth 5, requires buying new devices. Very expensive.
Solution 2: Make sure you are syncing some music to your watch and then play music directly from your watch. Alternatively, connect your AirPods to your watch and stream music from your watch. That’s what I do.
 

musicpenguy

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,596
567
Go into the settings app on your iPhone and turn off Bluetooth - this is how I use my iPhone/Apple Watch 99 percent of the time - this forces my watch to live mostly on WiFi with LTE when I’m out and about - I find Siri and in general the app functions better this way.
[doublepost=1538595757][/doublepost](Note: turning BT off via Control Center on the iPhone will leave it on for the Apple Watch)
 

sofakng

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 5, 2008
226
13
I have a similar issue with my Series 3 LTE and iPhone 7 Plus, but my problem is thick walls, nooks and crannies.
I haven’t been able to figure this out either.

Solution 1: Upgrade all devices to Bluetooth 5, requires buying new devices. Very expensive.
Solution 2: Make sure you are syncing some music to your watch and then play music directly from your watch. Alternatively, connect your AirPods to your watch and stream music from your watch. That’s what I do.
Hmmm, it looks like the iPhone X has Bluetooth 5.0 but my Apple Watch Series 3 is only 4.2. This might be a reason for me to upgrade! Does the Bluetooth on the Apple Watch Series 4 really increase range that much?

I'm not sure what you meant by "connect your Airpods to your watch and stream music from your watch." That's exactly what I'm trying to do but I think because the watch is trying to stream through the iPhone it has problems...

Go into the settings app on your iPhone and turn off Bluetooth - this is how I use my iPhone/Apple Watch 99 percent of the time - this forces my watch to live mostly on WiFi with LTE when I’m out and about - I find Siri and in general the app functions better this way.
[doublepost=1538595757][/doublepost](Note: turning BT off via Control Center on the iPhone will leave it on for the Apple Watch)
Yeah, that should work but it's a bit of a pain having to do that everytime I want to go outside and leave the phone inside... :(
 

musicpenguy

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,596
567
Hmmm, it looks like the iPhone X has Bluetooth 5.0 but my Apple Watch Series 3 is only 4.2. This might be a reason for me to upgrade! Does the Bluetooth on the Apple Watch Series 4 really increase range that much?

I'm not sure what you meant by "connect your Airpods to your watch and stream music from your watch." That's exactly what I'm trying to do but I think because the watch is trying to stream through the iPhone it has problems...


Yeah, that should work but it's a bit of a pain having to do that everytime I want to go outside and leave the phone inside... :(
Not sure how much you use Bluetooth for other things on your phone - that is just my default setting these days. Perhaps a Siri Shortcut could be setup as well to do this.
 

sofakng

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 5, 2008
226
13
Yeah I use Bluetooth all the time for my car and I sometimes use AirPods with the phone (instead of the watch) so I can't just leave it disabled.
 

musicpenguy

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,596
567
Yeah I use Bluetooth all the time for my car and I sometimes use AirPods with the phone (instead of the watch) so I can't just leave it disabled.
Gotcha - yea I think a Siri Shortcut would be the fastest - could make it into a widget that is easier to access.
 

ReardenMetal

macrumors regular
May 1, 2015
236
98
Los Angeles
Hmmm, it looks like the iPhone X has Bluetooth 5.0 but my Apple Watch Series 3 is only 4.2. This might be a reason for me to upgrade! Does the Bluetooth on the Apple Watch Series 4 really increase range that much?

I'm not sure what you meant by "connect your Airpods to your watch and stream music from your watch." That's exactly what I'm trying to do but I think because the watch is trying to stream through the iPhone it has problems...


Yeah, that should work but it's a bit of a pain having to do that everytime I want to go outside and leave the phone inside... :(
I don’t know what music service you use or what audio you’re playing (podcasts, music, etc.), but when you put your AirPods on and they are connected to your phone, audio will often play straight from your watch when you try to play something from the watch’s music app or watch’s podcasts app or whatever audio has either been stored on the watch or has access to the cloud. Sometimes, you’ll get a prompt to choose what headphones you want to use before playback can begin. But, you have to have some music either synced to your watch within the watch’s music app or make sure you're playing from your iCloud music library (that has to be configured too). I can literally stream all of Apple Music and my entire library without my phone and without fiddling with Bluetooth settings.

The watch is awesome for listening and streaming stuff when it’s managing the audio. The phone suffers when it’s on the border of being out of range, whereas the watch’s signal is always great because it’s on you the whole time. I wouldn’t turn off Bluetooth every time you want to listen to something when you have a state of the art streaming device sitting on your wrist. Apple has good documents that’ll walk you through how to play music, etc. from your watch, not your phone. I recommend you search for those and read ‘em over.
 
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