Somehow received an SMS whilst away from phone

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by MoodyM, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. MoodyM macrumors 6502a

    MoodyM

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    Aug 14, 2008
    #1
    I just nipped over to my parents' house, and left my iPhone at home.

    I'd previously been in their house with my Watch and iPhone, so I'd expect my Watch to remember their wifi network, however something strange happened - whilst in there I received an SMS text message (not an iMessage).

    Should this be possible whilst there was no connection to the iPhone? SMS doesn't go over wifi does it?
     
  2. Oridus macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 8, 2012
    #2
    I know this is an old thread but I figured I wouldn't make a new one.

    I just had this happen last night.

    I was at work (where my phone has a good LTE connection), and I left there to go to the hospital because my daugther hurt herself. I accidentally left my phone at work, and while I was at the ER (Where i've been before with my watch and my phone connected to the hospital's wifi), I was receiving SMS from a person using a Samsung device. I was able to respond, as well. It took about 15 seconds before the SMS sent, but it did and I was able to hold a conversation with this person using a galaxy phone. I thought that the watch would have only been able to do iMessage while connected to a familiar WIFI connection and using the iCloud services.

    Can anybody tell me if apple has any official documentation on this? This was a pleasant surprise.
     
  3. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #3

    If you had previously connected to the WiFi with your phone, then the Apple Watch will automatically connect to it.

    The watch gets all of its WiFi connection information from your iPhone. So any networks you have connected to in the past and still have saved on your iPhone, the Apple Watch will use. With or without your iPhone present. It does come in handy.
     
  4. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #4
    What carrier do you use? My hunch is you are on T-Mobile or one of the carriers that fully supports WiFi calling.
     
  5. MoodyM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MoodyM

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    Aug 14, 2008
    #5
    I'm on Three (UK)

    I wonder if it's related to the fact you can send SMS from the Messages app on MacBook, even if iPhone isn't nearby?
     
  6. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #6
    Text forwarding has been possible for a while so do you have this enabled and they were forwarded from your Mac?
     
  7. MoodyM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MoodyM

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    #7
    I do have it enabled, just surprised it forwards to Watch without iPhone nearby
     
  8. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #8
    As mentioned above, the AW is capable of certain functions over wifi and it makes sense that you'd get SMS if you have text forwarding on your Mac, which in turn gets pushed to the AW over wifi.
     
  9. Oridus macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 8, 2012
    #9
    I have messages on my Mac completely disabled and logged out of.
     
  10. Oridus macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 8, 2012
    #10
    I'm on at&t, but my phone wasn't on wifi where I had left it. Was just on LTE.
     
  11. Oridus macrumors 6502a

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    #11

    Yes I understand that, I was confused about the and forwarding, not how the watch got the wifi info.
     
  12. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #12
    Which should not matter because Apple's system should in theory push SMS to any devices capable of continuity over wifi, including the Mac, iPad and AW. I think the confusion stems from Apple's choosing not to list the AW as an active device.
     
  13. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #13
    Hmmm. I wonder if AT&T in Europe fully supports WiFi calling, or if that matters for SMS messaging. In the U.S., AT&T does not fully support it. Anyway, for the watch to receive an SMS, it would need to be ghosting the phone's SIM. It kind of does this with WiFi calling, and that is why I suspect the two features are connected.
     
  14. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #14
    Nope. No cellular radio means no SIM, ghosted or otherwise. It's the same Apple iMessage service that sends texts (SMSes) to a computer on the same iCloud account.

    It's just data anyway. If the watch finds a data connection va wifi, it'll snag what it can, including SMS messages that went to your phone.
     
  15. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #15
    You can test it for yourself at home, too (assuming you have a wifi network at home, that is). Switch your iPhone's wifi and Bluetooth off so it has no direct connection to the watch. Your "control panel" Glance should look like this, with a cloud icon showing that you're connected to the phone over the Internet:
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1448852787.943497.jpg

    When you get texts later, don't bother reaching for the phone. Let them get transferred to the watch.

    Next time you're out and about without the phone and you get a message on your watch, swipe to the Glance above and see if the cloud icon is present.
     
  16. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #16
    This is pretty cool. I had the impression that the Watch could communicate with its paired Phone either over Bluetooth or if they are on the same WiFi network. Judging from this report, it seems they can communicate over the Internet, as long as the Watch can connect via WiFi (which requires that the phone to which it is paired has previously done so, and that the WiFi doesn't have a browser-based authentication or terms-acceptance page). Seems the phone can be connected via cell data or WiFi.

    Very cool indeed.
     
  17. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #17
    It's still got some limits, which you'd find while playing with the watch when the phone's Bluetooth and wifi are turned off.

    You won't get much out of Maps, for example. Since the watch has no GPS and no cellular triangulation, it can't rightly say where it is (like, if you've gone to the hospital and left your phone at work, just to pick a random scenario ;) ) so it won't give directions or navigate anywhere.
     
  18. exxxviii, Nov 30, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015

    exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #18
    SMS traffic is massively different from Apple iMessage traffic. SMS is a part of the carrier network. iMessage is an independent service that a device separately logs into. Apple just happens to present them in the same client.

    I think all of your replies missed the point of my speculation. T-Mobile uses SIMs in their VoIP products (no cellular radio). WiFi calling works on the AW with the phone totally off. That means that the phone and watch told the carrier where to send phone traffic with the phone offline. That was what I meant by ghosting the SIM. I speculated that maybe the phone/AW/carrier communication that told carrier where to send voice traffic also told the carrier where to send SMS traffic.
     
  19. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

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    #19
    This, right here. Totes agree.
    SMS's are not sent through ~cloud~ in the same way that iMessages/notifications can be queued in Apple's push service per device. If there is no direct connection, whether it be BT or a wifi network, there needs to be some sort of access point, or bridge, on the WWW for your Apple Watch to send & receive buffered network traffic.

    That access point already exists because of Wifi calling, allowing a direct connection from the source (Carrier) to multiple devices (thus, no more iPhone needed as it isn't the routing source anymore). I'd be very surprised if they didn't use that infrastructure since Wifi calling can support it (I'll find a source), even though it hasn't been officially implemented by many carriers (some do, some don't, some mention plans in future [Sprint]).
     
  20. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    #20
    In Apple's case, would the phone receive an SMS, then relay it through iCloud to reach the other devices on the account (to include a home computer, iPad, and the watch)?
     
  21. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #21
    I'd think that's how text forwarding works.
     
  22. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #22
    Yes, but generally -- at least in the past -- they all had to be on the same wifi network to do it. The OP is suggesting that not only do they not all have to be on the same wifi network, but that at least some of the devices don't even need to be on wifi (e.g., his phone).

    To the OP, it seems like things are getting transfered via any connection available. Obviously, since it happened to you. But I'm not sure when the change was made. Clearly Apple didn't publicize it.
     
  23. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #23
    Not anymore I believe. Text forwarding does not require wifi to work. However, in the OP's case, the AW was connected to a known wifi network (in the absence of iPhone) and hence got the texts forwarded to it.
     
  24. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #24
    I understand the part about the watch connecting to a known wifi network.

    But the SMS forwarding off wifi, is, I think, something new. Perhaps it's not... but for some reason I was under the impression that devices needed to be on the same wifi network. Perhaps not.
     
  25. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    #25
    Texts I get during the workday — while I'm away at work — also show up on my home computer and iPad.
     

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