Can you use Apple Watch offline?

Can you use Apple Watch offline? Have you ever wanted to just take your watch and leave your phone at home? The answer is that you can. You can still use Apple Watch offline in many situations: 

  • It’s useful for gyms, when you want to leave your phone in the locker.
  • It’s great for areas with spotty mobile signals. 
  • It’s also useful for short walks (like taking the dog out) when you don’t want to carry your phone. 
  • You can also listen to music without any connection. Music files will be stored in the watch. For that reason, you can put whatever music you want in it. 
  • Another advantage is that you spend your free time without having to carry a phone to distract you.

How does Apple Watch work offline?

Apple Watch can connect via Wi-Fi to the Internet without an iPhone nearby. If you have a GPS+Cellular model and a cellular plan with your phone company, the watch can also connect to a mobile network. It also doesn’t need an iPhone nearby. You can also use watch offline, even without it being connected to Wi-Fi, mobile network or iPhone nearby.

Can you just take the Apple Watch and leave your phone at home?

The Apple Watch will still work without an iPhone nearby. However, some features may be limited. There are two types of Apple Watches – Apple Watch GPS and Apple Watch GPS + Cellular. The GPS version can only connect to W-Fi or to your iPhone. If the watch isn’t connected to anything, you won’t be able to send and receive text messages and make phone calls. With Cellular version, on the other hand, you can also use text messages and make phone calls. The Cellular version can connect to cellular network without an iPhone nearby. This is useful if communication is important to you, but don’t want to carry an iPhone. However, the GPS version can still connect to a known Wi-Fi. Therefore, in places like the gym with Wi-Fi, you can leave you phone in the locker and only carry the watch.

Some ideas on how to use Apple Watch offline

Here are some ideas on how to use Apple Watch offline:

Play music, podcasts or audiobooks

You can pair wireless Bluetooth headphones to your watch to listen to the audio. 

You can use Apple Music and Apple Podcasts on your phone without being connected to iPhone, Wi-Fi or mobile network. You will just need to sync it to your watch. Read more here.

The easiest way to play offline music is to make sure that your music is synced with the Music app on iPhone. From there you can transfer it to the Apple Watch. Here is the official way to do it.

You can also use Spotify to sync music to your Apple Watch. You will need Spotify Premium for this.

Track your workout

You can also take your watch to exercise and leave your phone behind. The watch doesn’t need to be connected to Wi-Fi, mobile network or your iPhone. You can simply start an exercise activity and then your Watch will sync all your workout data to the iPhone. The easiest you can start is using the Workout app. This is great for activities like gym or swimming.

Use offline navigation

There are many Apple Watch apps that support offline maps. This is useful for areas where mobile signal is spotty. Apple Watch has an in-built GPS, but you should still carry an iPhone into the wilderness. The Apple Watch will last about 7 hours if the GPS is on. You can carry an iPhone to save power. The watch will then use the iPhone’s GPS for navigation and not its own. This saves battery considerably and can sometimes improve the accuracy of GPS. Some of the apps with offline maps are Google Maps and outdoor exercising apps like Komoot, Gaia GPS, WorkOutDoors or AllTrails. They often include trail routes that you can download for offline use when no connection.

Use Apple Pay offline

You can use Apple Pay without Wi-Fi, mobile connection or iPhone nearby. Of course, you’ll need an iPhone to set up Apple Pay at first. Check out here how to setup Apple Pay on the watch.

Track health activities

You can still track your heart rate, use Mindfulness app to relax and breathe, track your menstrual cycle, measure oxygen level and ECG if the watch supports it.

Track your sleep habits

An Apple Watch can help you track sleep more accurately. It also has Charging Reminders to remind you to charge the watch before sleeping. It can track you respiratory rate – the number of times you breathe during a minute. The Track Sleep feature also exists on the iPhone, but watch provides more accurate measurements. You can track many things like sleep phases, set a sleeping schedule, reduce distractions on iPhone before bedtime, track your sleep history and many more.

Check out the rest of articles about using Apple Watch to get rid of iPhone addiction, and decrease excessive internet and social media consumption. But still use the Apple Watch for actually useful functions (like navigation, communication, notifications, music and more) without relying on the iPhone:
Is Apple Watch Cellular worth it: going without iPhone
Can Apple Watch battery survive a hiking trip?
Use Apple Watch for camping