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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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14,185



Apple Watch uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transfer data to the iPhone. It defaults to a Bluetooth connection whenever possible because it conserves power, but if your iPhone is not in Bluetooth range, Apple Watch will switch over to compatible Wi-Fi if it is available.

For Wi-Fi to work on Apple Watch, it needs to be 802.11b/g/n on a 2.4GHz band. It will not connect to the faster speed 5GHz Wi-Fi, nor will it connect to public networks requiring logins, subscriptions, or profiles. It will also not work if your paired iPhone has never connected to the local Wi-Fi network before. This is because Apple Watch cannot configure new Wi-Fi networks on its own. It can connect to networks that you have set up on the paired phone.

Apple-Watch-Out-of-Bluethooth-Range-800x282.jpg

When your paired iPhone is out of range, and it is not connected to the same Wi-Fi network, there are a number of features that are still available:


Click here to read more...

Article Link: What You Can Do With Apple Watch When Your Paired iPhone is Out of Range
 

iZac

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2003
2,168
1,454
Shanghai
This device shouldn't even need the iPhone paired to do any of these wifi tasks, you log in with your Apple ID and you're golden.

If I'm a masochist I should be able to run about with a bluetooth 3G dongle and just use the watch independently, as my sole communications device.

Apple will never do this though.
 
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ttss6

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2014
333
58
California
I hope with WWDC in a few days they add a more independent set-up process and general use for the Apple Watch. It'd be so handy for the Watch to recognize previously connected WiFi networks and automatically connect so it doesn't rely on iPhone for info. relay
 
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slprescott

macrumors member
Mar 22, 2012
52
182
How does the Apple Watch communicate for Apple Pay without an iPhone? I thought Apple Pay relied on NFC and the watch doesn't have built-in NFC?

(I'm sure there's an answer... I just don't know it.)
 
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jacjustjac

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2008
231
333
New York, NY
Actually, while my iPhone was shut off and I was at home within WiFi, I've used Siri on my Apple Watch to send an iMessage, so this article is a little misleading. This was a feature on Watch OS 1.0.

However, the Apple Watch won't make conventional text messages or phone calls without your iPhone, and even when tethered to your phone it's currently incompatible with FaceTime audio (I know because my Phone's Favorites list is all FTAudio and everyone is greyed out when accessed via the Apple Watch's Phone App).

To the posts about Apple Pay, on the Watch or the iPhone 6, it's always worked without an Internet connection, just like conventional plastic cards. Last Christmas I used Apple Pay on my iPhone 6 at a grocery store in Paonia, Colorado where there wasn't a cell signal for miles. Kind of ironic as no one working in the store had ever seen contact-less payments before, but yet their POS machines fully supported it.

I think the author should tinker a little more with their watch and revise this post.
 
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Alonso Quijano

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2013
288
175
How does the Apple Watch communicate for Apple Pay without an iPhone? I thought Apple Pay relied on NFC and the watch doesn't have built-in NFC?

(I'm sure there's an answer... I just don't know it.)

The Apple Watch has the same NFC chip as the iPhone 6 and 6+, so it is capable of NFC payments on its own.

This enables people who have the iPhone 5 (like me) and above to use Apple Pay.
 
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travmofosho

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2012
51
3
So if my home network is 5ghz, it won't work? Even if I have a 2.4ghz network with the same name and password on the same router?

It will only connect to 2.4 ghz networks that the iPhone has previously connected to. Read this for more info:

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH20767

Also to the OP, most of this is already explained via: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH20767 . I appreciate tips but if there is already an official article, it would be nice for it to be linked.
 
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H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,809
5,944
This device shouldn't even need the iPhone paired to do any of these wifi tasks, you log in with your Apple ID and you're golden.

If I'm a masochist I should be able to run about with a bluetooth 3G dongle and just use the watch independently, as my sole communications device.

Apple will never do this though.

This right here is it. ⇧ They’ve gimped it so that you need to buy both.
Typical Apple.
 
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Kynmore

macrumors member
Aug 3, 2011
42
69
It seems to work just fine at my office - have been floors away from my phone, and still getting notifications.

We have AD logins on our Wi-Fi where I work, and my watch can't seem to get on. Our admin says he'll take MAC addresses to bypass it if we end up with more Watch owners; just two so far :\
 
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Iconoclysm

macrumors 68030
May 13, 2010
2,506
1,769
Washington, DC
This right here is it. ⇧ They’ve gimped it so that you need to buy both.
Typical Apple.

Android Wear does exactly the same. Typical Google?

Maybe you should consider that it's not a matter of "gimping" it but a matter of making sure it works within the boundaries of your control first. You have to admit, you're looking at a very cludgy user experience if you want **** like that.
 
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Actually, while my iPhone was shut off and I was at home within WiFi, I've used Siri on my Apple Watch to send an iMessage, so this article is a little misleading. This was a feature on Watch OS 1.0.

I agree. I was expecting this article to display what can be done without the iPhone and what it can do without iPhone, but on a wifi network.

Maybe instead of focusing on what the watch CAN do with iPhone over wifi, it should focus on what it CAN'T do. I thought the watch could do everything over wifi that it could over bluetooth.
 
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friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,322
1,081
So if my home network is 5ghz, it won't work? Even if I have a 2.4ghz network with the same name and password on the same router?

Yes, it works. This is my setup at home.

People are wrong about logins. The Watch can login to any network that your iPhone automatically logs in on... even without your iPhone. I've done quite a lot of testing of this.
 
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friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,322
1,081
It will only connect to 2.4 ghz networks that the iPhone has previously connected to. Read this for more info:

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH20767

Also to the OP, most of this is already explained via: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH20767 . I appreciate tips but if there is already an official article, it would be nice for it to be linked.

The watch is 2.4GHz only.... but it will autoselect a 2.4GHz network with the same SSID and password as a network that you've connected to before from your iPhone.

At home I run dual networks 2.4GHz and 5GHz on the same SSID. My iPhone connects to 5GHz and my Watch happily connects at 2.4GHz. No problems.
 
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friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,322
1,081
This device shouldn't even need the iPhone paired to do any of these wifi tasks, you log in with your Apple ID and you're golden.

If I'm a masochist I should be able to run about with a bluetooth 3G dongle and just use the watch independently, as my sole communications device.

Apple will never do this though.

This actually will work. As long as your iPhone has connected to the dongle once and has stored the Wifi credentials... those credentials will get passed to your Watch and your Watch will connect on its own to the dongle and use it.

EDIT: It depends on what you mean by "sole communications device". You won't be able to make cellular phone calls. But you will be able to use iMessage and receive emails.
 
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friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,322
1,081
I hope with WWDC in a few days they add a more independent set-up process and general use for the Apple Watch. It'd be so handy for the Watch to recognize previously connected WiFi networks and automatically connect so it doesn't rely on iPhone for info. relay

It already does this. All stored Wifi credentials are passed to your Watch. Your Watch, by itself... without the iPhone, will connect to any previously connected to (by your iPhone) Wifi network.
 
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shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,416
235
Purcellville, VA
The Watch alone cannot connect to a network it requires a login like RADIUS. If the enterprise network was set up on the iPhone, then it might, I'm not 100% sure.
It seems to work just fine at my office - have been floors away from my phone, and still getting notifications.
This is about what I'd expect.

Based on my reading of the article, I assume that the "logins" it doesn't support are things like public-access networks where you need to go through a web page in order to connect.

Which unfortunately means that it won't work at my office, where the guest network requires a web-page-based passcode to connect. (Direct connection is only allowed via an encryption certificate which they will only install on company-issued equipment.) But I'm not too concerned, because when I'm at work, the phone remains on my person, and will therefore be in BlueTooth range.
So if my home network is 5ghz, it won't work? Even if I have a 2.4ghz network with the same name and password on the same router?
It should work fine if the 2.4GHz network has the same SSID, password (and user ID, if you're running RADIUS) and if the two Wi-Fi networks are bridged together (so packets are forwarded between the two.) Every home router I've seen should do this out of the box, although I could imagine some corporate Wireless LANs with security profiles that prevent forwarding between two wireless devices, especially on a guest-network, which would obviously interfere with Watch-Phone connectivity.
 
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msavich

macrumors member
May 31, 2015
60
24
Has anybody else had trouble with the watch showing spinners for minutes on end when around the house? It should be on wifi…
 
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unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,827
754
Earth
The Watch alone cannot connect to a network it requires a login like RADIUS. If the enterprise network was set up on the iPhone, then it might, I'm not 100% sure.

I know that, that's why I was asking if the credentials are passed to the watch, does the watch support RADIUS.
 
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