Should apps work when connected by wifi?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by helen8297, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. helen8297 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    #1
    Hi all,
    Id rather keep Bluetooth turned off as much as possible to preserve battery life. My phone and watch are both connected to the same wifi network. Should watch apps such as Twitter and Amazon work like this or do I HAVE to have Bluetooth on?
    If they should work- any ideas what's going wrong? When I try to use them it thinks for a few secs and then shows the red disconnected phone symbol.
    Thanks
     
  2. Planey28 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Greater Birmingham, UK
    #2
    Yes, they work over wifi - however it will drain more battery than if you were using bluetooth. The watch uses Bluetooth low energy and wifi will drain the watch battery faster.

    Are you using a 2.4GHz network? The watch doesn't work with 5GHz wifi networks, it will use known networks your iPhone has connected to.
     
  3. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #3
    Before you disable BT, you ought to consider a test to see how much it saves you. In my experience, Bluetooth does not have a material impact on battery life.

    That said, many apps work over WiFi, but it depends on the app. Also, it depends a lot on the WiFi network. Your home network should be ok, but work and public networks sometimes block direct device-to-device connections over WiFi.
     
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
  5. TxWatch macrumors 6502

    TxWatch

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    I agree with the posts above. You will use a lot more battery by disabling BT on your Watch.

    TxWatch
     
  6. daijholt, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015

    daijholt macrumors 6502a

    daijholt

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #6
    Bluetooth in both the watch and every iPhone since iPhone 5 uses practically zero battery life. Bluetooth Low Energy (or Bluetooth 4.0) is designed specifically to use as little battery as possible. I've had a smart watch since early 2014 (pebble steel first, then Apple Watch) and had Bluetooth turned on 24/7 with iPhone 5s, 6, 6 plus and 6s and noticed zero impact on battery life in either the watch or the phone.

    Most apps don't work without a direct BT connection to the phone either, and as per previous posts, BT uses less battery than wifi anyway, so you'd be shooting yourself in the foot twice over by turning BT off.

    This is from the official user guide on apples website:

    1. If your Apple Watch and iPhone are on the same network but aren’t connected by Bluetooth, you can also do the following on Apple Watch without iPhone:
      • Send and receive messages using iMessage
      • Send and receive Digital Touch messages
      • Use Siri
    And that's literally all you can do without a Bluetooth connection. I'm not even sure that last one is even true, as Siri never works for me without Bluetooth connection to my phone
     
  7. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #7
    Not true and hasn't been for a long time. Everything (and I mean everything) works when the Watch and iPhone are connected over Wifi.

    In addition, much more than that works when the Watch is connected to Wifi by itself (I.e. With the phone off). Including Wifi calling (If you carrier allows it). Also, all "native" Apps work fine over wifi without a phone. Only ones that don't are those that still rely on the phone to operate (For instance: Remote for some reason). Also, even Siri works on the Watch when it's connected to Wifi without a phone.

    All of this got a huge upgrade with OS 2.0, but most has been true from the start.

    If this isn't the behavior that you're seeing then your Watch isn't actually getting connected to Wifi properly.
     
  8. daijholt macrumors 6502a

    daijholt

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #8
    I apologise sir.

    I tested it, and you are 100% right. Can't believe I never noticed this before. Turning off bluetooth on my iPhone caused the little symbol on the settings glance to change from a phone to a cloud, and almost everything still worked.

    My issue must stem from having both Bluetooth and wifi connected. I'll often head into my kitchen, leaving my phone upstairs, and suddenly my watch shows "not connected", like it's trying to prioritise BT over wifi. When this happens, using Siri doesn't work and neither do my apps. I guess it takes a while for the watch to switch over from BT to Cloud. I'll need to test this a little more to figure it out.

    Thank you for pointing is out!
     
  9. TxWatch macrumors 6502

    TxWatch

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    While your point is correct, the OP was suggesting they turn off BT to save battery power on their Watch. I can tell you from experience, turning off BT will drain your Watch's battery very quickly. So even though it is possible to use your Watch on WiFi only, it is not recommended for battery saving purposes.

    I let my Watch use WiFi when I leave my phone on my desk, but if I am going to be away for longer periods, I slide my phone into my pocket to preserve battery life.

    TxWatch
     
  10. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #10
    Definitely agree with that. Leave BT on.


    No problem! There has been a lot of confusion over this... and Apple hasn't helped by putting out sparse (and sometimes misleading) information on how everything works with Wifi on the Watch.

    Hell... Even 9to5Mac can't understand that the Watch does Wifi already: http://9to5mac.com/2015/12/29/apple-watch-2-facetime-new-features-poll/

    You are definitely correct about the Watch working really hard to hold onto BT when it could drop to Wifi. That is a real pain. On the edge of BT is where most of the problems are now with Siri (and anything else that needs network access on the Watch).
     
  11. rjlawrencejr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    LA/OC/IE
    #11
    I too can attest to the fact that using the watch in WiFi mode will deplete the battery quite quickly and using BT has almost zero impact on battery life.

    Last night I left the house to help my church reserve space on the parade route in Pasadena. I realized when I arrived I had forgotten my phone. However, I did have a MiFi device with me in the car which allowed me to send and receive text and imessages and check the weather. But boy did it drain the battery. In less than 20 minutes my watch went from 12% to 0% (I had it on a few hours earlier but I didn't check the battery usage).
     

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