How to use Apple Watch Series 0 "mostly" WITHOUT iPhone and iCloud?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by timidhermit, May 31, 2018.

  1. timidhermit, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018

    timidhermit macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    I want to start using my Apple Watch (first-generation aka series 0) solely to tract fitness data (that is, not using it for any other purposes, such as music, messaging, etc.).

    I no longer use an iPhone as my daily phone, but I plan to keep an iPhone around only to be used to intermittently sync with the Watch to save my health data. Can't seem to find any reliable info on the net on how to do this correctly. Can someone offer advice on how to do this? In particular...

    - Is this correct that my Apple Watch can store locally fitness data for up to 30 days? If so, am I correct that I only need to turn on my iPhone once a month to sync the data from the watch?

    - I am not keen on using iCloud to backup my health data. Can I set up the Apple Watch and set up data sync LOCALLY with my iPhone entirely WITHOUT entering my Apple ID?

    - For backup, will a typical LOCAL iTunes backup of my iPhone (not iCloud backup) sufficient to back up ALL of my health data from the Watch so that if I ever need to restore my Watch or iPhone I would not lose my health data?

    - Any other pitfall I need to watch out when using my Watch in this limited fashion and restricted way?
  2. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    "Backing up" data to only one place (IE, your phone) isn't backing it up though. That's just putting all eggs in one basket, and if you drop it - well. You get the picture. :)

    You can backup health data to a computer using iTunes if you select to encrypt your backup file, I hear. But it would necessitate more actions and work on your own. IE, plugging your phone into your computer, clicking around in iTunes to perform the backup and so on. iCloud just does its thing on its own, without any human intervention.

    What exactly about iCloud is it that unkeens you? Apple isn't snarfling your health data. Your information is encrypted locally on your phone before it is transferred to iCloud and Apple doesn't have the password.
  3. timidhermit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    I am doing this as a trial, so I do not want any health data gathered during the trial to be permanently tied to my iCloud account, even if I can delete them later so they won't pollute the pool once I decide I want to do this for "real". I plan to keep the iPhone only at home where it can be kept safe. This way, I only need to do the encrypted iTunes backup a few times a year to securely save the data.

  4. CobraPA macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2011
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    I don’t know the actual period, but I suspect 30 days is too long to not sync with the phone. A few days seems reasonable. To be sure and not lose data, it would be easiest to just leave the iPhone plugged in and near the location you charge the watch. That way you’ll get data sync every day or two.
  5. sean000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2015
    Bellingham, WA
    Did you get an Android phone? If so, why not just get a Fitbit or something? Keeping an Apple Watch and an iPhone solely for the purpose of fitness tracking seems inconvenient.

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