(Pocket-lint) - You might not know this, but...you can use an Apple Watch without an iPhone.
Apple released the Apple Watch almost a year ago, and while there is a tonne of information floating around about how it works with your iPhone to pass data back and forth, few people know that the health-focused wearable can complete tasks without being connected to an iPhone.
If you're out of the loop, we've laid out everything you need to know below.
What is Apple Watch and when will it be available?
Let's address one thing first: Apple Watch is Apple's first entry into the wearable biz. It's available in multiple territories, including the UK and US.
You can get Apple Watch in many different models, sizes, and materials. The models are called Watch, Watch Sport, and Watch Edition, and each one comes in two different case sizes: 38mm and 42mm in height, both of which can be set up to work on your left or right wrist. You must first decide which model you want, then choose your case size and material, and once that's done, you can select from a wide variety of straps.
The cost of Apple Watch varies dramatically, depending on the model and strap you selected. Pricing starts at £299 for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport, for instance, and extends to £13,500 for the 38mm Apple Watch Edition in 18ct gold. You can learn more about pricing here.
What can Apple Watch do without an iPhone?
Before we tackle what Apple Watch can do without an iPhone, we thought we should be real about what it can't do without an iPhone. So, if you don't own an iPhone but are still considering buying Apple Watch, keep in mind you won't be able to connect to the internet at all. Apple Watch gets all of its data connections and GPS signals from the iPhone. Many apps, including Siri, Mail, and Phone, will therefore be useless to you.
Most existing third-party apps also rely on the iPhone for an active data connection or GPS signal and can't serve up interactive experiences, notifications, glances, or anything beyond an interface without it. Apple Watch will only work best when connected to an iPhone. They're just designed to work together, especially since there will be no fully native apps for its wearable at launch.
Apple Watch just isn't as powerful as an iPhone, but have no fear, because there are still plenty of things it can do on its own.
Time and alarms
Apple's smart timepiece - believe it or not - can actually tell time without requiring your iPhone. Who would've guessed? You can even set alarms, timers, the stopwatch, as well as see calendar events, and more. Without an iPhone, you'll just miss out on the odd ping that ensures time kept on the smartwatch matches the time set by a global standard. That's no biggie, right?
Health and Fitness
Apple Watch can track a lot of your health and fitness stuff, including heartbeat, step taken, stairs climbed, and stand-sit ratio, but without built-in GPS functionality, Apple Watch won't ever be able to track your distance on its own. Apple Watch stores all this data locally (and will attempt to sync it to the Health app should you ever own an iPhone and be in range of it).
So, to recap, if you don't have an iPhone you can still track your activity with the Activity app and track workouts using the Workout app.
Apple TV and iTunes
Apple's Remote app has been ported to the Watch, allowing you to control your Apple TV from your wrist. If that's not cool enough: you can also use the app to control iTunes and iTunes Radio on your computer.
Music and Photos
Apple Watch let's you locally store up to 2GB worth of stuff. Even if you don't own an iPhone, you can use wireless Bluetooth headphones to hear stored music playlists. Without an internet connection though, you won't be able to stream music via services like Spotify. That said, just like it can play your music, Apple Watch can showcase your photos. You'll also able to view up to 75MB worth of local photos from iCloud Photo Library.
Apple Pay and Passbook
This one is a bit of a cheat. You need to set up Apple Pay in the Apple Watch app, but then the service will continue to work when an iPhone isn't around. You can use it to pay for things in US shops, for instance. A unique token that acts as your card number is stored on Apple Watch, allowing you use Apple Pay even while you're away from your iPhone, basically.
To pay, wave your watch at any Apple Pay-compatible terminal. The built-in NFC radio will kick on in order to transmit and confirm your payment. Passbook is also on the Apple Watch, so anything stored in it - such as boarding passes, electronic tickets, loyalty cards, gift cards, and anything else that's scannable - should sync to Apple Watch and work just fine without your iPhone.
And that's it.
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