How much data does the apple watch use?
First, you should note that you cannot use the Apple Watch to access the internet directly, largely because of its limited battery life, and that option would burn through the battery like no other. But the question remains, how much data does the apple watch use if any?
Some basic info first. The Apple Watch features three connectivity options:
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE) for discovering and pairing
- Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 24GHz for fast data transfer and race-to-sleep
- NFC for Apple Pay
The conventional Bluetooth range for connecting your smartwatch to your iPhone is between 30 and 50 feet.
Wi-Fi can only be used by the smartwatch system to transfer data between your iPhone and Apple Watch, but not for surfing the web or accessing the internet directly. When your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, your Apple Watch can remain in contact with it from any place that is covered by the network.
Price when reviewed: $399
How much data does the Apple Watch use?
The watch does not use any of your phone data because it does not have cellular capabilities. It connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or NFC, and any apps you’re using on the smartwatch are getting all the necessary information from your phone via one of these three radios.
The difference is that you now won’t have to use your phone as much. In instances when you would pull out your iPhone, you now simply look at your Apple Watch.
Unless this makes you start doing radically different things than what you did before, like perhaps streaming more using TuneIn because you can access it on your wrist more easily, there should be no significant changes in data usage.
Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
It has already been established that the Apple Watch typically connects to your phone via Bluetooth 4.0. The Apple Watch does not come with Wi-Fi as it uses that in your iPhone.
Without a connection to your phone, the watch can play music stored on the watch (about 2Gb), track fitness data, and make purchases using NFC for Apple Pay.
The watch relies on GPS and Wi-Fi of your iPhone 5 (or other later model), though it has an internal heart rate sensor and accelerometer.
However, most of the apps require the iPhone to be connected to function since most of the processing for apps is managed by the iPhone, which then transmits the result to the watch via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This is Apple’s strategy to preserve the battery life of the Apple Watch.
The range of Bluetooth 4.0 can be up to 30 meters, though users seldom get a connection beyond several meters. This is because Bluetooth uses short-wavelength UHF (radio waves) between 2.4 and 2.485 GHz in the ISM band, which is easily interrupted by satellite dishes, Wi-Fi signals, microwaves, some electronics, some external monitors, bodies, and many other things that drastically reduce its range.
Wi-Fi, on the other hand, offers about 2-3 times the Bluetooth range depending on signal strength and other things.
With the availability of both short-range Bluetooth and longer range Wi-Fi technology, your Apple Watch can effectively maintain its connection to a paired iPhone through Wi-Fi in the event that the phone falls outside the Bluetooth range. This has been one of the biggest merits of the Apple Watch over Android Wear for a some time before AW 5.1*.
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