Making calls

jwolf6589

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Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
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Colorado
For some strange reason I am only able to make calls when my iPhone is nearby and turned on. I cannot make calls if my iPhone is powered off and the watch is connected to WIFI. Anyone know why? If a incoming call comes in it will say call faded.
 

sjinsjca

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
2,190
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Is WiFi calling enabled on your iPhone? Mine was, then somehow got turned off... worth checking.
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,693
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Fort Worth, Texas
According to Apple, WiFi calling must also be enabled on your watch to make and receive calls. Have you checked that? Also make sure your watch is paired to the phone. (should be)
 

status.six

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2015
25
12
I have the same issue with my Series 3 watch. I have WiFi calling enabled on my iPhone 11 Pro Max and have set it to allow WiFi Calling on other devices. If I turn off my iPhone my iPad and MacBook Pro make and receive calls fine. My AW just says call failed.

I have tired to report this to Apple but find they don’t understand WiFi Calling scenarios and even the senior Level 2 guys say it will only work when the iPhone is on and on the same WiFi network. They even try to hold this line when I share the Apple support pages showing it will work (they claim only cellular AW support it which isn’t the case)

FaceTime Audio calling will though, just not carrier WiFi calling. I’ve given up now, just too painful to get the support guys to understand 😡
 

matrix07

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Jun 24, 2010
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For some strange reason I am only able to make calls when my iPhone is nearby and turned on. I cannot make calls if my iPhone is powered off and the watch is connected to WIFI. Anyone know why? If a incoming call comes in it will say call faded.
I have the same issue with my Series 3 watch. I have WiFi calling enabled on my iPhone 11 Pro Max and have set it to allow WiFi Calling on other devices. If I turn off my iPhone my iPad and MacBook Pro make and receive calls fine. My AW just says call failed.

I have tired to report this to Apple but find they don’t understand WiFi Calling scenarios and even the senior Level 2 guys say it will only work when the iPhone is on and on the same WiFi network. They even try to hold this line when I share the Apple support pages showing it will work (they claim only cellular AW support it which isn’t the case)

FaceTime Audio calling will though, just not carrier WiFi calling. I’ve given up now, just too painful to get the support guys to understand 😡
As I understand it, iPhone has to be ON for WiFi calling to work, since the watch will use iPhone call functionality. I’m not sure why your (@status.six) iPad or Mac works when you turn off iPhone. They shouldn’t (The call has to be through iPhone).

(I could be wrong though since I’m using cellular watch for a couple of years so calling on the watch is something that works all the time now)
 
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status.six

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2015
25
12
Not if your carrier supports WiFi Calling, in this instance you don’t need your iPhone on and instead your calls will be routed to any WiFi Calling devices you have enabled.

It depends on your carrier what level of WiFi Calling you can have from none to only Apple devices with cellular capability to any Apple device with WiFi calling which is signed into iCloud. It is the iCloud version which the MacBook Pro and Series 3 Apple Watch use
 
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matrix07

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Jun 24, 2010
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Not if your carrier supports WiFi Calling, in this instance you don’t need your iPhone on and instead your calls will be routed to any WiFi Calling devices you have enabled.

It depends on your carrier what level of WiFi Calling you can have from none to only Apple devices with cellular capability to any Apple device with WiFi calling which is signed into iCloud. It is the iCloud version which the MacBook Pro and Series 3 Apple Watch use
Are you sure about that? Or are you confused between “WiFi Calling” and “Calls on Other Devices”
, 2 features from iPhone that has nothing to do with each others?
Like I said, I’m using cellular watch for so long I don’t have first hand knowledge anymore but my understanding is completely different than yours.

EDIT: I checked Apple document and these 2 features are in fact related to each others but nowhere in the support document says you could make or receive call when iPhone is turned off.
 
Last edited:

jwolf6589

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
1,894
295
Colorado
I have the same issue with my Series 3 watch. I have WiFi calling enabled on my iPhone 11 Pro Max and have set it to allow WiFi Calling on other devices. If I turn off my iPhone my iPad and MacBook Pro make and receive calls fine. My AW just says call failed.

I have tired to report this to Apple but find they don’t understand WiFi Calling scenarios and even the senior Level 2 guys say it will only work when the iPhone is on and on the same WiFi network. They even try to hold this line when I share the Apple support pages showing it will work (they claim only cellular AW support it which isn’t the case)

FaceTime Audio calling will though, just not carrier WiFi calling. I’ve given up now, just too painful to get the support guys to understand 😡
I am about to give up as well. I have had this problem since Series 2 and it’s looking like my series 4 has the same problem.
 

status.six

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2015
25
12
EDIT: I checked Apple document and these 2 features are in fact related to each others but nowhere in the support document says you could make or receive call when iPhone is turned off.
Check this link to the AW user guide...

Apple Watch User Guide

Specifically the bit under this heading...

If your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi
When your Apple Watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can still do the following (even if your iPhone is turned off):
 
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matrix07

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Jun 24, 2010
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Check this link to the AW user guide...

Apple Watch User Guide

Specifically the bit under this heading...

If your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi
When your Apple Watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can still do the following (even if your iPhone is turned off):
Thanks. That finally established Apple Watch should work, but that has nothing to do with iPad and Mac though.

It does not work.
If you enable WiFi Calling and Calls on Other Devices. Maybe try restarting, unpairing and re-paring?
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
1,894
295
Colorado
Thanks. That finally established Apple Watch should work, but that has nothing to do with iPad and Mac though.



If you enable WiFi Calling and Calls on Other Devices. Maybe try restarting, unpairing and re-paring?
WIFI calling is enabled on both my iPhone and watch.
 

status.six

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2015
25
12
Thanks. That finally established Apple Watch should work, but that has nothing to do with iPad and Mac though.
If you look in the iPhone guide it says the following for WiFi Calling on other devices...

Allow Wi-Fi calls on your other devices
  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings
    > Cellular.
  2. If your iPhone has Dual SIM, choose a line (below Cellular Plans).
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Tap Calls on Other Devices, turn on Allow Calls on Other Devices, then choose the devices where you’d like to make and receive calls.
      This allows other devices where you’re signed in with the same Apple ID to make and receive calls when they’re nearby your iPhone and connected to Wi-Fi.
    • Tap Wi-Fi Calling, then turn on Add Wi-Fi Calling For Other Devices.
      This allows other devices where you’re signed in with the same Apple ID to make and receive calls even when your iPhone isn’t nearby.
It’s clear here that it should work on other devices (providing your carrier supports iCloud WiFi calling, not just WiFi calling) and I can confirm I can make and receive calls using my mobile number and carrier plan on my iPad and MacBook Pro when my iPhone is off. It’s only the AW that doesn’t work as it should.
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
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Mine worked yesterday. Perhaps the reboot of the watch did the trick.
The restarting is always a simple and most effective fix for almost anything on Apple Watch.


If you look in the iPhone guide it says the following for WiFi Calling on other devices...

Allow Wi-Fi calls on your other devices
  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings
    > Cellular.
  2. If your iPhone has Dual SIM, choose a line (below Cellular Plans).
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Tap Calls on Other Devices, turn on Allow Calls on Other Devices, then choose the devices where you’d like to make and receive calls.
      This allows other devices where you’re signed in with the same Apple ID to make and receive calls when they’re nearby your iPhone and connected to Wi-Fi.
    • Tap Wi-Fi Calling, then turn on Add Wi-Fi Calling For Other Devices.
      This allows other devices where you’re signed in with the same Apple ID to make and receive calls even when your iPhone isn’t nearby.
It’s clear here that it should work on other devices (providing your carrier supports iCloud WiFi calling, not just WiFi calling) and I can confirm I can make and receive calls using my mobile number and carrier plan on my iPad and MacBook Pro when my iPhone is off. It’s only the AW that doesn’t work as it should.
“Isn‘t nearby“ is not the same as completely turned off though. Your experience could be unique for one reason or another. This is also from the Apple document
413FAD70-8C0D-426C-A559-53043C522ACC.jpeg


Notice ”accept calls from your iPhone”. Doesn't that imply the call will be routed through iPhone and that your iPhone has to be on?
 
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status.six

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2015
25
12
Apple do seem to be making it super vague in their various explanations and for sure the continuity version of calling needs the devices to be on the same WiFi network and in that case ‘nearby’ might be that the iPhone is upstairs and the MacBook downstairs where calls will route over the WiFi to the iPhone and then cellular out. However if the carrier supports the ‘iCloud WiFi calling’ capability then the iPhone can be away or off and the traffic routes over the web to the carrier IMS platform...

53395004-F904-4F19-901C-5C1D7B442301.jpeg
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,259
1,895
Apple do seem to be making it super vague in their various explanations and for sure the continuity version of calling needs the devices to be on the same WiFi network and in that case ‘nearby’ might be that the iPhone is upstairs and the MacBook downstairs where calls will route over the WiFi to the iPhone and then cellular out. However if the carrier supports the ‘iCloud WiFi calling’ capability then the iPhone can be away or off and the traffic routes over the web to the carrier IMS platform...

View attachment 898502
Oh, this is quite clear. 😳 I haven’t known that. Thank you.

I guess I need to try it with my iPad. My carrier supports WiFi Calling. 😀


Edit after testing: No, it doesn’t work. The call will use iPhone (which makes sense) so I guess that document is simply wrong

BC0A307A-4B71-4324-93B4-804DFBF7C7A8.jpeg
0EC40658-63FF-464D-A6C9-42ACD52B9D61.jpeg
 
Last edited:

status.six

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2015
25
12
Well it might be your carrier doesn’t support...
  • Wi-Fi Calling on supported iCloud-connected devices
in addition to WiFi Calling which is the standard feature.

You need to check the Apple carrier support page here and make sure you see both WiFi Calling and WiFi Calling on supported iCloud-connected devices. It seems only a handful of carries support connected devices world wide.
38E78C77-D27D-4AAC-9D66-8AF9826DD03F.jpeg
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,259
1,895
Well it might be your carrier doesn’t support...
  • Wi-Fi Calling on supported iCloud-connected devices
in addition to WiFi Calling which is the standard feature.

You need to check the Apple carrier support page here and make sure you see both WiFi Calling and WiFi Calling on supported iCloud-connected devices. It seems only a handful of carries support connected devices world wide. View attachment 898576
Dang! WiFi Calling only.
This is confusing as hell 😓 but at the end of the day I have learnt something new. Thanks.

(at least mine supports FaceTime over cellular 😅)
 

status.six

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2015
25
12
Dang! WiFi Calling only.
This is confusing as hell 😓 but at the end of the day I have learnt something new. Thanks.

(at least mine supports FaceTime over cellular 😅)
It sure is confusing, even for Apple tech’s 😂 I think Apple need to take steps to clear things up especially since a lot depends on your cell carrier capabilities.
 
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