Apple Watch Series 0, 1, 2, and 3 can all connect with existing Wi-Fi networks whilst away out of your iPhone, however there are barriers.
With Apple Watch Series 3 LTE + Cell evaluations bringing forth the expose of a Wi-Fi bug fighting the watch from all the time leaping onto mobile information, I have gotten a large number of questions on how Wi-Fi on Apple Watch works. Here is what you wish to have to understand.
How the Apple Watch connects to Wi-Fi
Like your iPhone, your Apple Watch has a Wi-Fi antenna inside it, which permits it to glue without delay to Wi-Fi networks (or by way of your iPhone) somewhat than all the time the use of your mobile information.
The place the 2 units vary is in how they may be able to attach: The Apple Watch does not have an Auto-Sign up for Wi-Fi display, or a spot to make a choice networks. Nor does it have an solution to dictate or Scribble in passwords. In brief: Your Apple Watch can not connect with Wi-Fi except your iPhone has first hooked up to it.
Necessarily, when your iPhone connects to a Wi-Fi hotspot and enters within the password while you are additionally hooked up to Apple Watch, your iPhone syncs that data over in your Watch.
Apple Watch can then get admission to that data and connect with a community — despite the fact that you discuss with that location sooner or later with solely your watch. That method, you'll use your whole Apple Watch's on-line features in Wi-Fi spaces (like Messages, Maps, and any third-party apps) whether or not you may have a GPS + Cell fashion or a Series 0 Apple Watch.
Sounds simple sufficient, proper? Sadly, there are a couple of barriers.
The place Wi-Fi fails on Apple Watch
As a result of Apple Watch does not have the Wi-Fi chops of its paired sibling, it struggles with a couple of spaces, as outlined in a Support article on Apple.com. Particularly:
- You will be unable to hook up with a brand new Wi-Fi community except your iPhone is provide and will connect with it.
- Your iPhone must be paired with Apple Watch when it connects to the community — it does not paintings over iCloud Keychain
- Apple Watch can solely use 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz networks, no longer 5GHz networks.
- Apple Watch mustn't connect with any public community that has an interstitial captive, like a resort login, Google Starbucks phrases and prerequisites acceptance, or different subscription data
What is this a few bug with LTE?
All of it comes all the way down to that "mustn't" in that final Wi-Fi limitation I discussed above. A couple of early Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cell reviewers spotted important connection issues of their Apple Watch evaluate gadgets, prompting Apple to make a remark. From Lauren Goode at The Verge:
In the end, the corporate issued an reputable remark, acknowledging the problem. "We have now found out that once Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks with out connectivity, it will now and then save you the watch from the use of mobile," an Apple spokesperson stated in an emailed remark. "We are investigating a repair for a long run instrument unencumber."
Necessarily, the Series 3 GPS + Cell watch tries to save lots of battery existence always through the use of your iPhone's connection, or failing that, a Wi-Fi community. What is taking place this is that the watch is trying to leap on a so-called "captive" community — a public community with an interstitial login advised or phrases and prerequisites settlement. (You have most certainly observed those at a Starbucks, McDonalds, or Panera.)
In idea, the Apple Watch should not be allowed to hook up with captive networks in any respect, as a result of there is not any method for it to get thru that interstitial layer. Sadly, watchOS 4 has a bug the place captive networks are being identified identically to customary stored Wi-Fi networks — so while you are technically "hooked up" to a community, you will be unable to hook up with the web; nor will you be capable of cross to mobile, since the Watch's auto-switching prevents you from connecting.
Apple will probably be liberating a instrument repair one day sooner or later to forestall this, however it is a lovely irritating bug to have run into so overdue within the procedure — did no engineers discuss with Starbucks whilst trying out the Series 3 with out their iPhone?
In the end, no, this is not an issue with the watch's Cell provider. It is an existing factor that is simply all of sudden develop into extraordinarily related. (And one of the vital causes I have requested a couple of occasions for a option to authenticate Wi-Fi networks in the neighborhood on Apple Watch with dictation.)
Tips on how to inform in case your Apple Watch is attached to Wi-Fi networks
When your Apple Watch connects to a Wi-Fi community as an alternative of your iPhone or mobile, you'll be able to see a special image while you swipe up on Keep watch over Heart from the watch face: A inexperienced "Hooked up" cloud icon.
Some other questions on Apple Watch and Wi-Fi?
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