Pairing the Apple Watch with an iPad

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by F-Train, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. F-Train macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #1
    Does anyone know why the Apple Watch can't be paired with an iPad? It would seem to be a deliberate decision rather than a technical issue. Thoughts on whether it might be possible down the road?
     
  2. Bbqthis macrumors 6502a

    Bbqthis

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    #2
    People take iPhones with them everywhere. Most people leave their iPads at home. Only the LTE iPad has GPS and even then, most people don't take their iPads with them when they run. Can you imagine the armband?

    Seeing as the Watch is meant to be a companion for notifications and a tracker for fitness, the iPad doesn't really make sense.
     
  3. F-Train thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #3
    I take an iPad Mini with me everywhere and rarely use a phone. I also think that your characterization of the Watch as a companion for notifications and a tracker for fitness is too narrow.

    For me, the Watch paired with the Mini would be brilliant.

    And you're not explaining why Apple hasn't enabled this, given that the iPad is an iOS device.
     
  4. Bbqthis macrumors 6502a

    Bbqthis

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    #4
    I am of the very strong opinion that you are in the vast minority use case.

    My reasons that I listed above WERE my explanation of why Apple has not enabled pairing with an iPad.
     
  5. mightyjabba macrumors 65816

    mightyjabba

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    #5
    It could certainly be done technically, but it doesn't really fit with Apple's vision for the watch, and the number of people who would do actually do it would be very small.
     
  6. F-Train, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

    F-Train thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #6
    Yes, it would seem to be on the level of flipping a switch.

    So why not?

    I am not, by the way, the only person who has raised this question.

    Here's a pretty obvious use case. If I want to read the NY Times, I do so on an iPad Mini, not an iPhone. Notifications of stories on the Watch would be terrific, and would help me decide what I want to read on the iPad. Same for Twitter and a lot of other apps, where I find the Mini a hell of a lot more reader/interactive useful than a phone. If there's not technical reason why Apple hasn't enabled this, what is the reason? Sell more iPhones?
     
  7. mightyjabba macrumors 65816

    mightyjabba

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    #7
    It just wouldn't be a great experience. You'd have to carry the iPad around with you all the time for the watch to be fully functional. Very few people do that, but they do carry their phones with them. If you're asking why you couldn't temporarily switch it to your iPad, I think it would just be too fiddly and confusing for most people to be switching back and forth.

    ----------

    I think you have this exactly backwards. In some sense, opening it up to iPads would actually allow them to sell more devices (selling watches to people who only own iPads, for example) but they don't do it because it wouldn't be a good experience.
     
  8. F-Train thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #8
    It would be great if someone would address the question instead of going on about how they personally use iOS devices and think everyone else does, or should.
     
  9. mightyjabba macrumors 65816

    mightyjabba

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    #9
    By the way, there's nothing stopping you from getting a notification on the watch and then acting on it on the iPad. Handoff is your friend in this kind of situation.

    ----------

    To be honest, I'm a little annoyed by your response because I think have been addressing your question in great detail.
     
  10. madsci954 macrumors 68030

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    #10
    You need the Apple Watch companion app to setup and use an Apple Watch, which can only be installed on an iPhone 5 or newer, iOS 8.2 or newer. Those are the technical reasons. Apple chose to only pair with iPhone, that's all. Could it be opened up to iPad? Maybe, but who knows. And I feel that your use case is in the minority.
     
  11. F-Train thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #11
    You are begging the question. Why can't it be installed on an iPad?

    The people who have responded to date have mostly demonstrated that they have no idea why the Watch can't be run from an iPad.
     
  12. Supermallet macrumors 65816

    Supermallet

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    Sep 19, 2014
    #12
    Can you buy an iPhone that doesn't offer a cellular connection (regardless of whether or not you choose to use it)? No. Can you buy an iPhone without GPS? No. These things are requirements for the use case Apple has devised for the watch. The phone is doing the data and GPS work and pushing it to the phone. Since there are iPads that are sold without these things, Apple thought it would be a bad idea to allow the option to connect the watch with an iPad.

    You may carry an iPad with you everywhere, but that is not the norm, and many people don't splurge on the price of an LTE iPad and data plan. Every iPhone that the watch works with has LTE capabilities. Every iPhone the watch works with has GPS. It's pretty simple.
     
  13. mightyjabba macrumors 65816

    mightyjabba

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    #13
    It can't be used on an iPad because Apple doesn't want it used. I thought that was obvious. I was explaining why Apple doesn't want it used.
     
  14. F-Train thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #14
    At least you're addressing the question.

    It seems to me that Apple would have every reason to tell people who have purchased their most expensive iPads that the watch can be paired with it.

    The decision making might have had to do with the decision to make the Watch app non-voluntary, but it could equally have been automatically downloaded to iPads that were equipped with the right features.
     
  15. madsci954 macrumors 68030

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    #15
    And you're looking for an answer that can't be found here. Only the Apple higher ups would know. Email Tim Cook and ask him.
     
  16. Supermallet macrumors 65816

    Supermallet

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    #16
    Even if you could pair it to the iPad, you'd still lose a significant feature of the Watch: Phone calls. We know the Apple Watch doesn't do Facetime audio, and it obviously doesn't do Facetime. iPads can receive phone calls only through Continuity, so I'm guessing it wouldn't be able to push those calls to the phone. The best guess is Apple didn't want anyone getting the watch who couldn't use the full range of features. And right now, the iPad doesn't allow you to use the full range of features.
     
  17. mightyjabba macrumors 65816

    mightyjabba

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    #17
    To the OP: Is the situation that you have an iPad and no iPhone, and would like to use the watch? Or do you have an iPhone but just think it would be more useful to pair the watch to the iPad?
     
  18. cmichaelb macrumors 68020

    cmichaelb

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    #18
    They aren't. They are stating the obvious reasons why Apple hasn't enabled this.

    Apple has to devote resources to how the MAJORITY of users use their devices.

    This is a first gen product. It would make sense that Apple only focused on pairing with the iPhone.

    - the watch requires an internet connection to be fully functional. Cellular iPads are not the most common and MOST people don't carry them all the time.

    - if a user forgot their iPad they now primarily have a digital watch. People tend to keep their phones close all the time.

    That's not to say it won't ever happen, but not in v1. Apple likes to add features after seeing how people use their devices once they collect that data.

    So to be specific- the reason is Apple chose not to support the iPad. It's that simple.
     
  19. F-Train thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #19
    That's a good observation although people who use fully loaded iPads would obviously know that and not care.

    There are just features of the Watch that I think would work not only as well, but better, with an iPad Mini. This isn't a trivial issue. If you're running a print/graphics medium such as a newspaper, I suspect that the Watch paired with an iPad Mini is very attractive, not only to the organization, but a good number of its readers. I'm pretty sure that there are lots of people who are interested in news notifications but would rather not read the actual stories on an iPhone. And there are lots of people who travel internationally, myself among them, for whom an iPad, at least the Mini, is a more useful device than a phone.

    Interesting.
     
  20. Supermallet macrumors 65816

    Supermallet

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    #20
    But surely you realize that millions of people do read the news on their iPhones, right? Not just the 6 Plus either, the 6 and even the 5/5S. You may not get as sumptuous of an experience as you do when reading on a large screen like an iPad, but it's still very possible to read the news comfortably on an iPhone. I'm sure the NYT is perfectly happy to have anyone reading its content, regardless of device.

    I think it makes a lot of sense to reserve the pairing for phones at this time. They simply allow for the watch to fully present all of its features.

    It's possible that in time, Apple will open the watch up to pairing with other devices, perhaps as it becomes more independent of a device and you only need the second device to manage settings in more detail.
     
  21. F-Train thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #21
    Good piece by director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism that relates to what I'm talking about: http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2015/apr/26/apple-watch-shrinking-news-apps

    ----------

    Yes, I also realize that millions don't, and that for a lot of people, reading news, including and maybe especially financial news, on an iPhone is just not on.

    And I think that Apple is well aware of this.
     
  22. cwosigns macrumors 65816

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    #22
    It would be great if you would just accept that your usage of an iPad is decidedly the exception and not the rule.

    The VAST. MAJORITY. OF. PEOPLE.

    Let that sink in...not a few. Not some. Not most.

    Just because YOU use something one way doesn't mean that Apple is obligated to accommodate you.

    It's like the person who is miffed you can't reply to email from the watch. Just because he used email as a short response IM platform doesn't mean anyone else does, and it doesn't mean Apple should accommodate him.

    Apple is obligated to make sure that the experience of the watch is great for how most people will use it.
     
  23. horsebattery macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #23
    As others have mentioned, the feature sets are rather different between the iPad and the iPhone - cellular support, differences in compatible apps, actual usage by end users, and so on. Each difference is another software development task that will need developers to work on. I can't say that I know the actual decisions that go into this, but I would like to think that there simply won't be enough users to make it worth Apple's time to provide Watch support for two different platforms.
     
  24. F-Train thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2015
    #24
    I think that Apple will do it, and sooner rather than later, for two reasons. There are important organizations, and users, and especially well-off users, who will want it. I have no doubt that the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Bloomberg and every other influential, major news outlet with an iOS app, would want the Watch to pair with an iPad. And secondly, manufacturers using the Android operating system will do it. It's a flick of a switch.
     
  25. horsebattery macrumors 6502

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    #25
    No, not a flick of a switch. It's precisely that it a non-trivial, software development and maintenance task that will cause this to be an added overhead for Apple. The organizations' apps you mentioned are already available on the iPhone, and would not have as big as a quandary as you would like to believe - they go towards the user base, of which the iPhone is immensely more popular than the iPad's.

    You may be correct that Apple will provide iPad support sooner or later. But obviously, the impetus does not yet exist (or is strong enough), otherwise we would not be having this discussion. :)
     

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