- Your Apple Watch will work without an iPhone, but depending on what model of Watch you have, you might not have access to every feature.
- You’ll need to have access to either a cellular or Wi-Fi connection if you want to use the majority of your Apple Watch’s features without an iPhone.
- An Apple Watch can still be used without an iPhone or internet connection, but you’ll run into limits on what you can do.
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However, you’ll be sacrificing many of the Watch’s more prominent features if doing so.
If you don’t have either, there are still apps you can use — although you’ll be limited.
Check out the products mentioned in this article:
How to use your Apple Watch with a cellular connection
If you have an Apple Watch with cellular capabilities, and you’ve set up the cellular feature, you’ll have access to many of the same features available on your iPhone. This means you’ll be able to take telephone calls, use Siri, stream music, and more, on the Watch.
Here’s what you will need to use cellular on your Apple Watch.
- An iPhone 6 or higher, with the most recent iOS update
- An Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular), Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), or Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) with the latest version of watchOS
- The same carrier for both your Apple Watch and iPhone
To learn how to set up cellular on your Apple Watch with an iPhone, read our article, “How to use cellular data on a cellular-enabled Apple Watch, and check your data usage.”
How to use your Apple Watch with a Wi-Fi connection
Even if you don’t bring your iPhone along with you, and you don’t have a cellular connection, you’ll still be able to connect to Wi-Fi networks, should one be available and within range.
However, features like SMS text messages and third-party push notifications may not be available.
- Making or receiving calls (if Wi-Fi calling is enabled on your Apple Watch)
- The Walkie-Talkie app
- Streaming music, podcasts, or the radio
- Any apps that support Wi-Fi
- Controlling your home through the Home app
To learn how to set up to a Wi-Fi network on your Apple Watch, read our article, “How to connect your Apple Watch to a Wi-Fi connection and unlock all of its features.”
How to use an Apple Watch without Wi-Fi, cellular, or an iPhone nearby
Many health features can be used offline, as can downloaded music and podcasts.
Here’s what’s available without Wi-Fi, cellular, or your iPhone.
- Listening to podcasts and music downloaded to your Apple Watch
- Viewing photos already synced to your Apple Watch
- Making purchases using Apple Pay (useful for when out on a run and want to stop for coffee or lunch)
- Setting timers, alarms, checking the time, and using the stopwatch
- Monitoring your health via the Workout and Activity apps (though if you’d like your routes to be GPS accurate, be sure to bring your iPhone)
- Monitoring your heart rate
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