Use AW via known wifi, iPhone at other location

sergiobaschi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2012
199
6
Gothenburg, Sweden
A theoretical question, it would be interesting to hear what you guys think.

As of today, and 1.1, the watch and the iphone need to be connected either by bluetooth, or connected to the same wifi network. So if I forget my phone at home, the watch will not be very useful at work even if it can connect to the wifi.

But does it really have to be that way?

There should be a setting that allows the iphone to connect to the watch via none/wifi/mobile data. It wouldn't be optimal performance wise, but I would say it's better than how it works today.

What do you think?

//awaiting an Apple Watch Sport, 42 mm, coming to Sweden via Germany in end of June
 

iamasmith

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2015
591
185
Cheshire, UK
You could try it out of course!

I think it's likely that the watch only connects to the wifi details handed off by the phone over BTLE though.
 

wepiii

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2012
526
116
A theoretical question, it would be interesting to hear what you guys think.

As of today, and 1.1, the watch and the iphone need to be connected either by bluetooth, or connected to the same wifi network. So if I forget my phone at home, the watch will not be very useful at work even if it can connect to the wifi.

But does it really have to be that way?

There should be a setting that allows the iphone to connect to the watch via none/wifi/mobile data. It wouldn't be optimal performance wise, but I would say it's better than how it works today.

What do you think?

//awaiting an Apple Watch Sport, 42 mm, coming to Sweden via Germany in end of June

Even if my phone is not on a wifi network at all (airplane mode) I can send and receive iMessages at work and home so i'm pretty sure this already happens.
 

fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
4,556
1,303
Vancouver, BC, Canada
This seems a little unclear: "There should be a setting that allows the iphone to connect to the watch via none/wifi/mobile data." What do you mean by "none"? You mean they should communicate without a data connection whatsoever? Telepathy? :)

You're suggesting that watch would establish a secure channel (vpn or otherwise) over the internet, back to the phone. Could they add this to the protocol stack, sure, but it would prove costly to the watches battery to maintain this connection (on top of the retries when it can't find the iPhone). Latency over the internet and carrier network would also make the experience very sub par. To ensure quality, voice calling would likely be disabled.

Additionally, currently the secure handshake between watch and iPhone is done over bluetooth. If you lose all connectivity between them, you have to get back into bluetooth range to re-establish the secure connection. This is by design, as a security feature.
 

sergiobaschi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2012
199
6
Gothenburg, Sweden
This seems a little unclear: "There should be a setting that allows the iphone to connect to the watch via none/wifi/mobile data." What do you mean by "none"? You mean they should communicate without a data connection whatsoever? Telepathy? :)
No. This is what I meant:

Mobile data: the iPhone will stay connected to the Apple Watch, as long as the iPhone has a valid mobile data or wifi connection and the Apple Watch has a valid wifi connection.

Wifi: the iPhone will stay connected to the Apple Watch, as long as the iPhone has a valid wifi connection and the Apple Watch has a valid wifi connection.

None: the iPhone will stay connected to the Apple Watch, as long as the iPhone and the Apple Watch are connected by bluetooth, or connected to the same wifi network.

fischersd said:
You're suggesting that watch would establish a secure channel (vpn or otherwise) over the internet, back to the phone. Could they add this to the protocol stack, sure, but it would prove costly to the watches battery to maintain this connection (on top of the retries when it can't find the iPhone). Latency over the internet and carrier network would also make the experience very sub par. To ensure quality, voice calling would likely be disabled.
Since this is narrowed down to experience and performance based issues, it could be solved when Apple Watch 5 comes out.

fischersd said:
Additionally, currently the secure handshake between watch and iPhone is done over bluetooth. If you lose all connectivity between them, you have to get back into bluetooth range to re-establish the secure connection. This is by design, as a security feature.
A very valid point. And even with improved network capabilities, this would still be an issue for coming generations.
 

Alieti

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2015
14
0
So the new android wear update allowed this exact feature. That the watch could be connected to a different wifi network as your phone but still have connectivity such as Siri and other feature. This is a must and doable feature for software updates. Battery life or not, it needs to be an option we can choose.
 

burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
2,066
1,547
So the new android wear update allowed this exact feature. That the watch could be connected to a different wifi network as your phone but still have connectivity such as Siri and other feature. This is a must and doable feature for software updates. Battery life or not, it needs to be an option we can choose.
On Android the watch will only connect to the phone over known WiFi networks that your phone has passwords stored. The watch will not connect over unknown networks. I agree this is a must have feature, and With only known networks Apple shouldn't be concerned about security.
 

Alieti

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2015
14
0
On Android the watch will only connect to the phone over known WiFi networks that your phone has passwords stored. The watch will not connect over unknown networks. I agree this is a must have feature, and With only known networks Apple shouldn't be concerned about security.
Yes you are right it's only for know networks. That is a great feature if you forget your watch at home or work and are going somewhere you have been before you are still connected. This would be an easy start of starting to separate phone and watch.
 

alexthegreat80

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2015
23
2
NYC/CT
I work at a school in manhattan. I had left my phone in the theater on the ground floor and went to the 6th floor and I was still getting iMessages and photostream notifications. I was able to reply to messages. The watch was not connected to the phone.
 

fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
4,556
1,303
Vancouver, BC, Canada
I work at a school in manhattan. I had left my phone in the theater on the ground floor and went to the 6th floor and I was still getting iMessages and photostream notifications. I was able to reply to messages. The watch was not connected to the phone.
Yep, the watch has it's own applications and wifi stack. These work without the phone. Provided the wifi network is known on the iPhone, then the network and credentials have been passed to the Watch.

@Alieti - Siri does already function independently on the watch for some things. Having a secure tunnel back to the iPhone really isn't a good idea. There's simply too much latency at this point to make this a good experience for the items that the Watch depends on the iPhone for.
 
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