Let's talk Wi-Fi w/o iPhone

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Dilegrd, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Dilegrd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    #1
    I'm enjoying my new Apple Watch but having trouble getting one key "feature" to work, Wi-Fi connectivity. Prior to launch, MacRumors ran David Pogue's report where he states the Watch can do a surprising amount when not paired to an iPhone. Has anyone gotten this to work properly?

    I'm able to get it working at my office. I've turned off my phone when I'm about a half a mile out, got into the office and am able to send/receive iMessages. Cool, works as I hoped. This is not the case on my home Wi-Fi network. What gives? What is considered a familiar Wi-Fi network?

    The Apple Watch is a neat little gadget. In my opinion, limited Wi-Fi connectivity is a game changer. I don't need full functionality. I want the ability to ride my bike without my iPhone to a known Wi-Fi network and receive/respond to iMessages.

    Anyone else trying to figure this out?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What can you do with the watch when your iPhone isn’t near?

    When it’s away from the phone, the watch does a surprising amount. You can:

    See the time
    Play music wirelessly through Bluetooth earphones (it holds up to two gigabytes of songs that you choose)
    Display photos you’ve loaded up from the phone (it holds up to 75 megabytes of tiny photos)
    Track your run (distance and pace) or your workout (calories, heart rate)
    Track your standing time, steps, and exercise
    Use Siri (if you’re on a Wi-Fi network you’ve been on before)
    Send and receive text messages and Watch-to-Watch “digital touch” messages (drawings and tap patterns) if you’re on a familiar Wi-Fi network
    Read, delete or flag recent email

    Use the alarm clock, stopwatch, and timer
    Use Passbook to show your airplane boarding-pass barcodes
    Pay for things with Apple Pay


    http://www.macrumors.com/2015/04/09/apple-watch-limited-functions-iphone/

    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/apple-watch-the-frequently-asked-questions-115819376574.html

    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/pogues-top-apple-watch-tips-well-its-the-big-117199758869.html

    Minute 3:44
     
  2. i-aamir macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    UK - London
    #2
    I also had this issue. Turns out if your phone is connected to a 5Ghz network the Watch wont be able to pick it up if not connected via Bluetooth. I had to forget my 5ghz network on my phone and reconnect to the 2.4Ghz and everything started working! A bit annoying but not noticeable once setup.
     
  3. Dilegrd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    #3
    Interesting. Now to sound like an idiot, how do you know the speed of the network your phone is connected to? How did you change it?
     
  4. danmart macrumors 6502

    danmart

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    #4
    Older wifi base stations were a/b/g and used 2.4 GHz. The next evolution was n band, which is 5GHz. The latest one available from Apple is ac which also uses 5GHz (in combination with 2.4, as I understand it).

    With an Apple AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule it automatically puts '5GHz' in the network name when applicable. You can manually pick between the 2.4 and 5GHz versions. Other brand routers will probably have different naming conventions.

    This is a drag as I like to keep my phone on the 5GHz network if possible as I get literally 10x the transfer rate I get from 2.4GHz. And with iCloud Keychain it shares your network setting across all devices, so if the iPhone needs to be on a 2.4GHz network all my other devices might get pulled across as well. I'll need to investigate once my Watch arrives in June. :(
     
  5. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #5
    Not completely accurate. Apple Airports/Time Capsules actually default to having the same wireless network name for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. Your devices will auto-negotiate to the fastest available network.

    This is how I'm set at home and my watch will automatically join the wifi network when out of BT range. I can verify this by seeing the watch's MAC address show up on the Airport's connected devices list.

    At home, thus far, I've not found anything I can't do on the watch when out of BT range. Work is different since there are so many port restrictions on the wifi network.
     
  6. danmart, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

    danmart macrumors 6502

    danmart

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    #6
    That doesn't fit with what I am seeing right now on my iPad:
    [​IMG]

    My network is named AC19, and there is also 'AC19 5GHz' as named by my Time Capsule (created last night, as it happens, as I have just upgraded).

    What do you see on your settings?
     
  7. marklemac macrumors regular

    marklemac

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Southampton, UK.
    #7
    untick the option for a separate 5Ghz network. Let the TC do it all under the one SSID.

    see my screen grab
     

    Attached Files:

  8. danmart, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

    danmart macrumors 6502

    danmart

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    #8
    Thanks, I'll check that out.

    ETA: just changed that setting (had to do it on 3 devices) and it worked. That has cleaned up my network nicely, been set 'wrong' for the last three years :eek:
     
  9. Alith macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #9
    I also had separate 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks as some devices were incorrectly logging into the 2.4GHz network. (and then suffering horrific slowdowns from interference of all the neighbouring networks) That was a long time ago so I may try that suggestion to just have the one network.

    Does the watch preferentially use bluetooth, even if it's within your WiFi range? I can't imagine being in my flat and my phone being outside it so I'm not sure it's worth changing my network settings and all my devices if there will be no benefit.
     
  10. StophMac24 macrumors 6502

    StophMac24

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    Miami
    #10
    My question is this: Is it confirmed that the Watches Wifi chip cannot handle 5ghz and that it will only work when the network is running under 2.4ghz?
     
  11. Alith macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #11
    Yes it's in the watch specs page on the apple store.
     
  12. danmart macrumors 6502

    danmart

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    #12
    I have a lot of overlapping networks where I live so I bought Wifi Explorer from the Mac App Store (link). There were five separate networks all set to channel 11, and one set to 6. So I set mine to 3 and it's been much better ever since. I'd definitely recommend a wifi scanner if you live somewhere with a lot of networks.
     
  13. Alith macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #13
    Thanks for the info but I tried them all and never had any luck. Then I got an Airport Extreme that had 5GHz and have never had any interference since and blistering speeds.
     
  14. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #14
    The watch does seem to disconnect itself from the wifi network when it's in BT range (presumably because it's more power-efficient) but will hop on the wifi network when it's out of BT range or I manually turn off my phone's BT.
     
  15. techno-Zen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    #15
    So how does this work for wifi w/ splash page that requires user authentication? My gym for example has Wifi but I need to click an "Accept" button to get connected every time I go.

    I'd love to not have to carry my phone with me while I workout!
     
  16. tivoboy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    #16
    not sure

    Anyone know if it will authenticate with a network that requires a splashpage verification
     

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