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Thread: Can the Cellular Apple Watch be independent of iPhone after it is paired and configured?

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    Can the Cellular Apple Watch be independent of iPhone after it is paired and configured?

    The Apple Watch functionality has improved over time. An iPhone used to need to be left on and connected for Cellular to work on the Watch. I was under the impression that with advances in eSim and Software Updates the watch could now make and receive calls without any dependence on the iPhone, (except perhaps for the occasional software update). Recently I learned that with AT&T that NumberSync is necessary and call do not ring on cellular unless the iPhone is left on and connected to the internet.

    What is the current state of cellular connectivity on Apple Watch? According to Apple.com Cellular allows you to leave your phone behind and just use the Watch, but does the phone need to be online somewhere?

    Do other carriers allow Apple Watch to receive calls with the paired iPhone off?


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    I just spoke with Apple Support and they did say the iPhone may need to be on and in service for the Apple Watch to receive incoming calls.Use your Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby If you scroll down in this article to the second part, Phone calls and texts are not included in the things the Watch can do when the iPhone is off.

    "If you can't connect to Wi-Fi, cellular, or your iPhone when your Apple Watch is disconnected—for example, if you're hiking in an area without Wi-Fi or cellular signal, or your iPhone is off—you can still do these things."

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    In addition, ATT.com has the option to download a new eSim and add it as a new cellular plan in the Watch App. It is not a new plan, just a new eSim. This also triggered a Number Sync request, and then Number Sync went through configuration again. This seemed to help as well with the watch missing incoming calls.
    Last edited by tekfranz; 05-15-2022 at 07:33 PM.

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