Using Apple Watch 4 unpaired from iPhone1


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 31, 2016
Hey, since quite some time I think about getting an Apple Watch with LTE. My plan would be that I use it as a phone replacement from time to time. I heard that many apps are depending on the iPhone and need to be paired with it, otherwise they will not work. But some of these threads and articles are quite old. I wanted to know if something has changed in the past few months or since the release of the Series 4?

For example, I would like to know if Google Maps or UBER works without being paired to iPhone or more generally, if there is any list with apps. AND additionally, if anybody of you use the Apple Watch as a phone replacement from time to time.


macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
your watch must be paired with a phone. however that phone doesn't necessarily need to be powered or in range.

if you have the cell version, you can use it anywhere you have service.
either version will join a wi-fi network you've joined previously on the phone, there's no way to select a new network (even without a password), or change/add a password on the watch, and if the wifi has a log in web page, like in a hotel, the watch can't join those networks at all.

a lot of apps will work standalone, but you might need your phone to sign in the first time, just depends on the app.
(you might have to have the app running on your phone the first time you launch on the watch)
and you have to use the phone to install new apps on the watch.

i have the non-cellular series 3, just did a test, turned my phone off and called myself from a land line, (i'm connected to the wifi at work) the call went through to the watch. I'm on T-mobile USA, not sure if that matters.
google maps does not have a watch app
I am able to get directions via the apple maps app
city mapper (mass transit app, i live in NYC) works, but is pretty slow to return directions
dark sky did update the weather.
über did connect and show a wait time (i didn't request a ride)

If you have a bluetooth headset with mic, you can use that with the watch to make phone calls, you can talk/listen directly on the watch, but it's not the best audio experience on either end.
anything with apple's "w" chips (AirPods or the newer beats) makes this easier, since the shares the bluetooth connection info with all your apple devices. Once they're paired with your phone, it just a matter of selecting them on any apple device on the same account (phone, iPad, mac, appleTV or watch)


Oct 19, 2018
there's no way to select a new network (even without a password), or change/add a password on the watch
Correction! You can join any WiFi network from just the Apple Watch that's WPA2 encrypted and doesn't involve login pages. I believe it was implemented starting watchOS 5.