iPad What is Missing on an iPAd to Control an Apple Watch?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ShMac, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. ShMac macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    I see the iPad and the iPhone run the same OS.

    Why can't I install and run the apps that would be needed to control my watch onto my iPad?

    What is missing or different?

    Does this question belong in a different forum, like for software developers?
  2. sosumi99 macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2003
    Technically, I'm sure this is doable. But Apple still envisions the watch as a device tethered (at least for most of the day) to another device that you always have on/near you. Perhaps they thought the user experience with an iPad as your main watch-tethered device is just not good enough since people don't have their iPads as often as their phone with them (for example, when you ask Siri anything beyond the most rudimentary stuff, she'll tell you to "continue on the phone"). They don't do it not because of any technical barrier, but to proactively eliminate customers who want the watch but not the phone.

    You can argue this is "greed" or just concern for a good user experience. Either leads to the same result.
  3. ShMac thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Thanks, that is a great answer and it helps me to understand at least one new important thing! This reply is a little preachy but you might be the choir, so please don't take it personally. ;)

    I had someone demonstrate asking Siri to play a specific song using their Apple Watch at a T-Mobile store. What I didn't realize is that it might be just proxying this request to the phones processing powers--her phone was just a few feet away.

    This is the functionality I really want the most: to be able to ask Siri for any song I wish from the watch, on the go, without the phone!!!

    Wanting this functionality mainly, I should be able to get by with just an iPad for controlling the watch without the phone if the watch could do this processing. So, that is why it is frustrating for potential customers lile me.


    I really don't care about a lot of the remainder of the functionality. I don't talk on the phone much and I don't text. I exercise but I don't like to micromanage it, etc, etc, etc...

    I am circling the iPhone Max but having hit my 40+ farsighted years, even with 20/20 distance vision still, my blurry near vision makes bigger screens more appealing just out of shear practicality. What good is the greatest high resolution screen in the world if the thing is so damned small a farsighted person can't read what is on it?

    So, this is the other reason that the potentially greatest mobile, wrist, voice command juke box ever is frustrating--I don't need it to be a phone BUT I do need the device controlling it to be readable, get this--the kicker--FOR ME, and not for other people!!!

    I have a computer science degree. I'm sure I could hack something together if I was willing to spend hours and hours, days and days (and maybe weeks) to figure it all out but this is the kind of reason I left the industry in the first place--almost a decade and a half ago!!!
  4. muzzy996 macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2018
    This part of your post resonates with me because I have an appreciation for larger displays due to my need for reading glasses. Let me just say that if this is an issue for you (you haven’t specifically noted a reliance on glasses like I have for reading) then keep in mind how small the display is on the watch. A smart watch is going to potentially be frustrating if you’re farsighted enough to need reading glasses, active and alternate between wearing your glasses and not. If you always wear corrective lenses or contacts then no problem.

    Voice control only goes so far and even Siri can be frustrating sometimes. My wife loves her Apple Watch...I love laughing at her occasional incoherent texts when Siri gets things horribly wrong during dictation.
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    The semi-technical answer to the question is that iPads don't contain telephones. A wifi-only iPad can't do much more, communications-wise, than even the first-gen Watch, albeit with a much larger display. The first few (non-cellular) implementations of the Watch effectively needed a full-function "base station" to provide a complete link to the outside world. And if your Watch has cellular it has better communications capability than a wifi-only iPad. (If I had to choose as to whether to have cellular capabilities in a Watch or iPad, I'd definitely vote for Watch.)

    It then comes down to customer expectations. If the Watch seems handicapped by its communications capabilities, then it's likely to still seem handicapped when paired to an iPad. Rather than suggest, "You can pair your Watch to this iPad" and leave people disappointed, it's simply not there at all. "Your Watch is an extension of your iPhone" probably is a more convincing pitch than, "Your Watch is an extension of your iPad," since for many people, iPad is mostly about display size - a Watch can't possibly "extend" that.

    There is an argument for allowing pairing of an iPad with cellular to a Watch. I suspect the cellular carriers would then want more money for the iPad cellular plans.
  6. ShMac thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    You are clearly an astute reader. I can still read many things without glasses, just depending on how small it might be, the time of day (how tired my eyes might be), etc. My eyes work much better in the middle of the day now. They are blurry when I wake, get clearer, and if I read or otherwise strain them, they are blurrier getting on toward bedtime.

    But, seriously, whether if I'll use hardly any of the other functionality besides the Apple Watch being a mobile juke box to play on Bluetooth headphones or speakers streaming from LTE is questionable at this time...

    If I can voice control it for as song, without the phone, that is good enough for me, even with the crazy price tag. This is such a killer feature/app for me personally, I'm thinking about biting the bullet and getting the XS Max anyway.

    However, I'm also thinking about trying to replace the functionality of my laptop I'm typing this on with a tablet or phablet as such so, if I am successful, and even though I will be forever grateful I learned to type in high school, if speech-to-text (I write a little) and other functionality can replace my workflow at current speeds, or even improve it, then I am ready and going to try!

    I may use some mix of technologies...so my sincere desire for quick music access might be my catalyst to utilizing the latest technological innovations. Thinking this way creates a new problem though...the Android world is ever so adaptable, varied, and less expensive...I don't know much about it yet but DEX control sounds interesting...
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2018 ---
    Yes, there is a very strong argument for this to me personally. Considering the best surgery to correct my farsightedness costs about $12,000 and I don't really give a crap about most of the other functionality between the phone and watch--if Siri can queue up a song with the processing power of the phone. The new watches do supposedly have 2 processors! Maybe it can process "Play 'Nothing Else Matters' by 'Metallica'" for example.

    I think I'll go by T-Mobile and see if she can repeat playing a song for me with her phone offline from the watch! If it will do this, I will probably spend the crazy amount of money and try to make the technology leap as best I can figure out too..

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5 September 29, 2018