Apple Watch comes with Wi‑Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz) support, which is extremely useful as it helps in extending the range between your iPhone and Apple Watch rather than just relying on Bluetooth.
How does Apple Watch connect to a Wi-Fi Network
Unlike the iPhone, you can’t go to the Settings app on your Apple Watch to connect to a Wi-Fi network. It finds out about the known Wi-Fi networks via the iPhone and connects to them automatically.
It is important to highlight that Apple Watch only supports 2.4GHz band, it does not support 5GHz like the iPhone (iPhone 5 and above). This can be a problem if you connect to just to the 5GHz network on your iPhone, as your Apple Watch won’t be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network as it is not aware of the 2.4GHz network.
How to find out if your Apple Watch is connected to a Wi-Fi- Network
If you want to find out if your Apple Watch is connected to the Wi-Fi network, all you need to do is disable Bluetooth on your iPhone. If your Watch is connected to Wi-Fi, then you will still be able to make calls or send a Message using your Apple Watch. If it is not connected to a Wi-Fi network then they will fail.
How to ensure that your Apple Watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network
But don’t worry there is a way to fix to the issue (thanks to reddit user gers1978). Just follow these steps:
- Turn off your Apple Watch.
- Forget the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks on your iPhone. (Settings > Wi-Fi).
- Turn off Bluetooth on the iPhone (Settings > Bluetooth).
- Connect to the 2.4GHz network on your iPhone, and then re-enable Bluetooth.
- Now, turn on the Apple Watch.
This should result in your Apple Watch connecting to the 2.4GHz network when it turns on. To test if it is connected to the 2.4GHz network, disable Bluetooth again, and try to make a call or send iMessage using your Apple Watch. If you’re able to make a call or send an iMessage then your Apple Watch is successfully connected to the 2.4GHz network.
You can now disconnect from the 2.4GHz network on your iPhone, and connect to the 5GHz network. It won’t affect the connectivity with your Apple Watch. To test it, disable Bluetooth again, and try to make a call or send iMessage using your Apple Watch. You shouldn’t have an issue.
Interestingly, another little known fact is that, when the watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can use Siri, send and receive texts, send and receive drawings, and tap patterns to other Watch owners, even if your iPhone is turned off or not in the range.
Was your Apple Watch connected to the Wi-Fi network? Let me know how it goes in the comments.