watchOS 5 Beta Adds Manual Wi-Fi Connection Option to Apple Watch Settings Menu

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Testers of the first watchOS 5 beta for Apple Watch are hailing a new option in the software's Settings menu that enables you to manually connect your device to nearby Wi-Fi networks.

In previous versions of watchOS, your Apple Watch is locked to the wireless network that your tethered iPhone is using, and there's no way to browse and manually connect to networks from your wrist.

But that all changes in watchOS 5, if the beta 1 seed is anything to go by. Reddit user whiskey_91 found a new option in Settings where users can search for and connect their Apple Watch directly to available Wi-Fi networks when their iPhone is out of range.

After a network is selected from the list, users are prompted to enter the Wi-Fi password via Scribble (scribbling characters one by one on the screen with their finger), while using the Digital Crown to select lowercase/uppercase and special characters. A Join button then appears for users to tap and connect to the network.

The new Wi-Fi option appears on both Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 models, but we've yet to confirm whether it works on Series 1 (watchOS 5 doesn't support the original Apple Watch, or Series 0).

There's plenty more to look forward to when watchOS 5 gets its official release in the fall, but eager adopters are advised to stay patient while Apple works out the kinks. Apple temporarily pulled the watchOS 5 beta 1 seed from its developer portal in the early hours of this morning after reports that the software was bricking some devices.

Article Link: watchOS 5 Beta Adds Manual Wi-Fi Connection Option to Apple Watch Settings Menu
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
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I'm a rolling stone.
After a network is selected from the list, users are prompted to enter the Wi-Fi password via Scribble (scribbling characters one by one on the screen with their finger), while using the Digital Crown to select lowercase/uppercase and special characters. A Join button then appears for users to tap and connect to the network.
This must be an awful way to set your password, nice to have the option but the watch is just not up to inputing difficult passwords.
 

hlfway2anywhere

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2006
1,354
1,713
This must be an awful way to set your password, nice to have the option but the watch is just not up to inputing difficult passwords.
It's a very rare occurrence where one would need to do this. You'd have to be without your phone and connecting to an unfamiliar WiFi network to actually need this option. Cumbersome but nice to have in a pinch.
 

hsoj1006

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2015
92
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It's a very rare occurrence where one would need to do this. You'd have to be without your phone and connecting to an unfamiliar WiFi network to actually need this option. Cumbersome but nice to have in a pinch.
I thought that too until I walked away from my desk at work and was on the other side of the floor without my phone. This would come in handy in those situations.
 
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newyorksole

macrumors 601
Apr 2, 2008
4,064
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New York.
I’ve been wearing my Watch Series 0 daily, but leaving it in power reserve because it just doesn’t work well.

I got it replaced recently because the screen popped off. I finally turn it on to try and use it and I can’t change my Watch face from my iPhone.

I also couldn’t see the weather from my modular Watch face.

I really forgot how poorly it functions.
 

mdellepi

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2015
139
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Germany
You've never logged into that network before on your phone I'm assuming? Because any stored WiFi network on your phone will automatically connect on your watch.
Again: not if the phone is connected to the WiFi network via 802.1x certificates.
Up to WatchOS 4 there was no exchange of certificates between iPhone and Watch, meaning that the Watch could not directly connect to the network.
 
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Little Marvin

macrumors newbie
Jun 6, 2018
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You've never logged into that network before on your phone I'm assuming? Because any stored WiFi network on your phone will automatically connect on your watch.
Yes but you have to have your phone on you when roaming around the building. Otherwise it will loose the connection. Or at least my Apple watch (and my colleagues) does.
 

BuffaloTF

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2008
971
857
Oh I love this notion. 2.4 ghz is, as I expect to be the case for many, very saturated around me. I won't use it on my phone (or other devices) but for something like this I would definitely use it since the speed and latency won't really matter as much.
 

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2010
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Denver, CO
Oh I love this notion. 2.4 ghz is, as I expect to be the case for many, very saturated around me. I won't use it on my phone (or other devices) but for something like this I would definitely use it since the speed and latency won't really matter as much.
That's an interesting thought, but I would guess that as soon as your watch sees your iPhone again your phone will "learn" that network as well. If it's just a one-off situation, where you don't expect to ever go back to that network again, then no big deal, but if you do go back with your phone you might not want this.
 

WarHeadz

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2015
899
5,167
Long Beach, California
I’ve been wearing my Watch Series 0 daily, but leaving it in power reserve because it just doesn’t work well.

I got it replaced recently because the screen popped off. I finally turn it on to try and use it and I can’t change my Watch face from my iPhone.

I also couldn’t see the weather from my modular Watch face.

I really forgot how poorly it functions.
The Series 0 is ridiculously underpowered. Apple realized that later on and began replacing broken Series 0 models with Series 1. But I guess you got your replacement before they started doing that
 

barjam

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2010
385
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It's a very rare occurrence where one would need to do this. You'd have to be without your phone and connecting to an unfamiliar WiFi network to actually need this option. Cumbersome but nice to have in a pinch.
I would use this feature every single day. At home I want to force my iPhone to connect to 5ghz only and can't because I want my watch to be able to connect to wifi.
 

BuffaloTF

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2008
971
857
That's an interesting thought, but I would guess that as soon as your watch sees your iPhone again your phone will "learn" that network as well. If it's just a one-off situation, where you don't expect to ever go back to that network again, then no big deal, but if you do go back with your phone you might not want this.
....

I hope you're wrong. ;)

But I guess I've lived without it now for this very reason and I can continue to do so until the day I get an LTE variant.
 

David Jones 34

macrumors newbie
Jun 6, 2018
4
0
It's a very rare occurrence where one would need to do this. You'd have to be without your phone and connecting to an unfamiliar WiFi network to actually need this option. Cumbersome but nice to have in a pinch.
That's somewhat arrogant. No, it is not rare at all. I have had a RADAR ticket open for years with Apple about this. I (and several friends, FWIW), have separated 2.4G and 5G networks at home due to Apple's *stupid* wifi hunting algorithm sometimes sticking to 2.4G slow networks. It has been insane that my watch can't get on WiFi because my phone is on the 5G network and Apple, also stupidly, doesn't support 5G on the watch. So I, and friends, *VERY* much appreciate this option appearing.
 
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