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16 Things Apple Watch can do without iPhone

Apple is known for its close-knit ecosystem. Some even blame Apple for creating a walled garden. I have got this question so many times: Can you use Apple Watch without an iPhone? Quite a few Android users want to go for Apple Watch but are unsure which features they will get.

Apple has been slowly adding standalone features to Apple Watch. The dedicated App Store is arguably the biggest feature. In other words, you no longer have to carry iPhone for jogs, gym, or that yoga session. This article will walk you through Apple Watch features that don’t need an iPhone.

What Apple Watch can do without your iPhone nearby

It is to be borne in mind that Apple Watch possesses many features you can use even when it’s not connected to your iPhone. Below, I’ve listed everything that can be accomplished on Apple Watch without its paired iPhone.

1. Listen to your music, podcasts, and audiobooks

Listen To Music And Podcast on Apple Watch

This one is my favorite. You can download Apple Music playlists to your Watch and listen on AirPods or any other Bluetooth headset. With cellular support, you can even stream Apple Music and Spotify.

The latest Apple Watch offers a generous 32GB of storage. Feel free to download those scintillating podcasts and tackle your gym session like a pro. You will need Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity to download new Podcasts.

Additionally, you can use your AirPods as well as Bluetooth headsets to get on-the-go access to your favorite tracks on your Apple Watch when your paired iPhone is not around.

2. Record and play sync voice memos on Apple Watch

By allowing you to use the recording capability and eliminating the need to sync with an iPhone, the Apple Watch allows you to record voice memos and even play them back.

3. Leave your iPhone behind to use Apple Pay, student ID, and transit cards

Settle your shopping bills with Apple Pay

Don’t panic if you find yourself at a checkout counter without your wallet and your iPhone dead since you can easily make payments using your Apple Pay on your Apple Watch without needing your iPhone. This functionality is also applicable to student ID and transit cards, making it even more convenient.

Note: This feature is not available for all countries.

4. Use Find My to Locate people, devices, and items with ease

You can find anything you need with only a few touches on your wrist. You can track the whereabouts of your friends and family by using the Apple Watch’s built-in Find My function. You may also use the capability to find your AirPods or any other Apple device that is linked to a similar Apple ID.

5. Stay on schedule with built-in calendars, clocks, and alarms

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Apple is on the right track, decreasing iPhone’s dependency on the Apple Watch. Another step in this direction is by letting you be organized and on track using your Apple Watch’s independent calendar, clock, and alarm capabilities, which allow you to manage your schedule and deadlines even when you are not connected to your iPhone.

6. Access your photos library anytime, anywhere

Unfortunately, the Apple Watch lacks a built-in camera or an independent picture library, so it relies on an iPhone to retrieve images and other material. You can sync your iPhone’s Photos library with your Apple Watch and see them on your wrist while not near your iPhone.

7. Stay fit and healthy by using the fitness features

Stay Fit with Apple Watch

With each update, Apple has increased the health aspects of the Apple Watch, including the ECG, heart rate monitoring, and calorie counting capabilities. The inclusion of standalone capabilities has increased the watch’s value as it no longer needs to be connected to an iPhone in order to access health functions.

8. Monitor surrounding sound levels

The built-in Noise app on your Apple Watch may provide you with real-time decibel level updates and allows you to establish custom thresholds for harmful sounds. You can effortlessly monitor and safeguard your hearing with this function, and you don’t even need your iPhone or an active internet connection.

One thing to remember while using this function is that it does not record audio; thus, your storage space will not deplete.

What Apple Watch can do if it is connected to Wi-Fi or cellular

Scroll down to check what new capacities are made available when we allow the Apple Watch to connect to the internet over Wi-Fi or cellular.

9. Download the latest apps with the App Store

The App Store on your Apple Watch is a game-changer, as it allows effortless updating of existing apps to their latest iteration or downloading new ones, all from the comfort of your wrist. With seamless internet connectivity and a few taps, you can peruse many categories and select the ideal program to serve your purpose.

10. Stay connected with calls and messages

It is advisable to forego your iPhone during your morning exercise. However, it doesn’t mean you should miss essential phone calls or alerts. For example, the Handoff function on Apple Watch’s cellular variations allows one to stay connected while making calls, sending text messages, sharing images, attending to emails, and responding to notifications, all from the comfort of one’s wrist.

11. Get your Walkie-Talkie On

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The Walkie-Talkie is another application that works because of your Apple Watch’s solo capabilities combined with internet access, allowing you to interact more quickly with your friend circle, particularly in group discussions.

12. Stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks without your iPhone

Earlier in this post, I discussed the Apple Watch’s extraordinary ability to play a wide range of synced multimedia files. However, if you believed that was the full extent of your device’s musical capabilities, then you were completely mistaken. By connecting the Watch to the internet, you are empowered to stream your favorite music tracks, podcasts, or audiobooks.

13. Stay ahead of the weather with up-to-date reports

Apple Watch is a versatile gadget that provides a variety of capabilities to help you organize your day and keep on top of your daily tasks. One such beneficial feature of the wearable is the built-in Weather app, which forecasts the climate for your present location or a preset place, and with this information at your fingertips, a sudden rain shower or temperature shift will never catch you off guard.

14. Control your smart home from your wrist

As new technologies – such as smart home appliances – continue to evolve, the Apple Watch has elevated itself to set new industry standards. With a few taps or voice commands over your wrist, you can control your smart home devices, such as lights, thermostats, and security systems. This eliminates the need for physically walking down to make the change or relying only on your iPhone.

15. Track your stock portfolio anywhere

Apple acknowledges the stock market’s importance in today’s world. As a result, they enable you to follow the success of your assets using your Apple Watch. The built-in app keeps you updated on market prices, news, and other essential information without requiring you to access your iPhone.

16. Use a third-party app that works on Wi-Fi connectivity

You can extend the capabilities of your Apple Watch by accessing and using third-party applications that only require internet connectivity and not necessarily the paired iPhone.

Can I set up Apple Watch with an Android phone?

Unfortunately, you can’t set up an Apple Watch with an Android device. However, to set up your Apple Watch Series 1 or later running watchOS 5 or later, you’ll need an iPhone 5s or later with iOS 12 or later.

How to connect Apple Watch to Wi-Fi without pairing?

Connecting your Apple Watch to Wi-Fi without pairing it with an iPhone is easy. All you need to do is scroll up on your watch face → hold the Wi-Fi icon → tap [your WI-Fi name] → enter your password→ select Join on the top right corner of the screen.

Can Apple Watch cellular work without iPhone?


Yes, Apple Watch cellular can function without an iPhone. Check our post to learn more about configuring and using cellular on the Apple Watch.

Should I get Apple Watch if I don’t have an iPhone?

Apple is on the right path by reducing Apple Watch’s reliance on iPhone. I am looking to buy a cellular version Apple Watch solely to reduce my phone usage. It seems like a good way to keep a curb on screen time. I prefer the Apple Watch instead of the iPhone while on the run or at a gym session. I wouldn’t suggest Android users go for an Apple Watch on a related note.

Which is your favorite Apple Watch standalone feature? Let us know in the comments below.

More on Apple Watch:

  • Mahit

    Mahit is an engineer by Education with a corporate stint to his name. He ditched the corporate boardroom wars in favor of the technology battleground. For the better part of a decade, he has worked for popular publishing outlets, including Dennis Publishing, BGR India, AppStorm, MakeUseOf, and iPhonehacks.

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