Here’s what Apple Watch can do on WiFi with or without iPhone connected in its Bluetooth range. Check out the full list below.

Apple Watch wifi main

These features do not require iPhone to be connected via Bluetooth or same WiFi network. In short, Apple Watch can do these things all on its own without needing iPhone at all.


Kind of an obvious ability if you pull the iPhone out of the equation here. The Watch can tell both the local and world time, whilst supporting alarm, timer and stopwatch functions as well.

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Tracking Activities

Not to be confused with your workout routines, the Apple Watch will be monitoring your steps, how much you stand up, climb stairs etc. with the data presented in the Activity app. The Watch keeps tracking these activities even without the iPhone connected, and once it is, all data is synced to the Health app on the phone automatically.

Tracking Workouts

Can’t be tugging around your iPhone on a jog, especially an iPhone 6 Plus. Fire up the Workout app, set your exercise and goal, and head out without having to connect the watch to the iPhone. The device’s built-in sensors will track your heart rate, strides and more. Even better, the Apple Watch can also measure the distance ran on its own, thanks to a feature in the Watch which stores accurate information about a user’s stride to measure distance. Of course you will have to run with Apple Watch and your iPhone a few times for the Workout app to use the iPhone’s GPS to calibrate your stride

Monitor Heart Rate

iPhone or no iPhone, the Apple Watch is tasked to measure your heart rate every 10 minutes, and sync this data to an iPhone whenever you connect to one.

Music Playback

While you will require an iPhone to initially sync music tracks to the Apple Watch, once it’s done, you can put the iPhone aside and play music directly from the Watch itself over a pair of connected Bluetooth headphones.

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View Photos

Apple Watch is designed to sync all photos on your iPhone that have been marked as favorite. This means you get to carry all your favorite photos on your wrist even if you don’t have your iPhone connected to the Watch over Bluetooth. Users can also change the album to be synced as well.

Apple Pay

If you have Apple Pay set up on your Apple Watch via the client app on the iPhone, you can go around making payments at contactless payment terminals even if you do not have your smartphone with you at that time. This feature does not require any Internet connection either so making payments will be as easy as it was with an iPhone.


As was the Passbook for iPhone, the Apple Watch’s version is no different, allowing for storing electronic tickets, boarding passes and more. All these would work independent of your iPhone.

Open Doors

If you ever happen to lodge in at a Starwood hotel, your Apple Watch will be ready to unlock the door to your room, a feature that was also shown off at the Apple Watch launch event, and being embraced by a number of places as time marches on.

Automatically Connect To Saved WiFi Networks

The Apple Watch cannot connect to new WiFi networks on its own, which is not a surprise for now at least. However, it can connect to networks that have already been set up and remembered on your iPhone, though the Watch must have been paired with the iPhone on that network at least once for this to work.


If you’re on WiFi, you can still use your Apple Watch to send and receive iMessages. A handy feature if your iPhone is on charge sitting in the next room – out of Bluetooth range – and you have nothing except your Watch and a WiFi connection.

Digital Touch

Just like iMessages, you can use Digital Touch to send scribbles, taps or your heart rate to your favorite contacts all over WiFi.


We all love Siri – don’t we? – and Apple’s digital assistant is ready to answer your audible queries even if you’re not connected to your iPhone and are on a WiFi network. It’s worth noting here that Siri’s functionality is limited if your phone is turned off.

The following features will require iPhone to be connected on same WiFi network as Apple Watch, but do not necessarily need to be in Bluetooth range of the Watch.

Send / Receive SMS

Just like iMessage, you can send and receive SMS text messages on your Apple Watch as well.


The Apple Watch can pull weather info as well, and will work as long as your iPhone and Apple Watch are connected to the same WiFi network, but are out of Bluetooth range for some reason.


Want to get a quick glimpse of Maps? No problem, if your iPhone and Apple Watch are on the same WiFi network – but out of Bluetooth range – then pulling up maps works like a charm.


Even with your iPhone out of Bluetooth range, Apple Watch will still pull emails and show them to you.


Love keeping track of stocks? The Stocks app works like a breeze over WiFi.

Make / Receive Phone Calls

An extremely handy feature if your iPhone is out of Bluetooth range; you can pull off a James Bond here and make calls over WiFi.


Last but not the least, you’ll still get notifications for everything you’ve set up using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, right on your wrist.

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